Leaders should be more like coaches

Back in 2000, Daniel Goleman, the champion of emotional intelligence wrote “Leadership That Gets Results”.  It suggested that there are 6 styles of leadership.

Coaching was one of them but it was the least utilized because leaders claim they don’t have the time to coach their people and help them grow!

Becoming a coach-leader is easy!

Michael Bungay Stanier started the company Box of Crayons that has trained over ten thousand managers to become better coaches.

And he wrote “The Coaching Habit – say less, ask more, and change the way you lead forever” to demystify coaching, make it practical, and demonstrate that it’s an easy skill anyone can develop in as little as just 10 minutes.

All you need is: the 7 questions in the book and to be patient.

And you have to turn coaching into a habit.  Simply by focusing on the situation that triggers non-coach-like behavior, identifying what you’d like to change about it, and HOW to change it.

Coach with questions

Here are a few of the key questions.  To open a great conversation, you need the Kickstart question.  Something like “what’s on your mind” that will focus the other person on what matters to them the most.

Then you can deepen the conversation with the AWE question, which literally stands for “And What Else” and can give you much deeper insights into what’s really going on.

But it can also broaden the conversation too much, so you can refocus by asking “So what’s the real challenge here for you?”

Silence your inner advice monster

One of the biggest challenges – what’s holding back many leaders – is lack of patience.

We’re busy, we’ve seen it before, we “get” it right away, and immediately want to offer suggestions and opinions.

All of us have an “inner advice” monster.  But if you want to be more coach-like, you have to figure out how to tame that monster.  So that the other person has the space to think about your question and respond to it.

Want to have more impact?

If you want to do more great work that has more impact… coaching is the best way to achieve that.  Because it can drive a more engaged team of people who feel more fulfilled and living up to their potential at work.

Luckily, coaching is NOT something mysterious for which you need lots of training or only a few people can do.  You can build coaching into your very next conversation!

It’s all about using the right questions and staying curious just a little bit longer, waiting before you rush into giving advice.