The Nuts And Bolts Of Great Leadership Coaching11 December, 2018 / Articles
Being offered a coaching engagement is a testimony that your organization is invested in your development. You are viewed as a valued asset with a bright future.
Having said that, buyer beware. Leadership coaching is not for the faint of heart. Your coach’s job is to hold up a mirror. These reflections include views on how you lead your team, partner with your stakeholders and your ability to add value at the enterprise level.
Great coaches provide a safe and confidential environment for you to gain insights on how to increase your leadership effectiveness. Bold coaches collect data points by conducting 360 feedback and gauge the ongoing coaching effectiveness through intermittent temperature checks with those who have a say in your career trajectory.
If you want to maximize the return on investment from a coaching engagement, consider these fundamental and pivotal ingredients:
- Clarify coaching objectives. Coaching must be tied to business objectives. This means that the behavioral skills that are being sought after must be defined with key metrics.
- Ensure all stakeholders are aligned.All parties — the executive, human resources, talent management and the coachee — must be in agreement regarding which new or enhanced skills are to be acquired.
- Take ownership. Leaders who prosper from coaching believe that no matter the level of their success, there is always something to learn. This allows for agility and openness to do things differently.
- Know when to refuse a coaching assignment. As a coach and coachee, never accept an assignment that is considered a “last-ditch effort” by the organization. This most likely will not produce results for the coach or the client. At this point, the employee does not have the requisite sponsorship to be successful, regardless of coaching outcomes.
- Be prepared to be challenged. Seek a coach who will deliberately create discomfort as you are encouraged to try new behaviors and skills. Being bold and courageous means you recognize that a new set of leadership skills are required to be effective with new and changing mandates.
- Increase your emotional intelligence. Even for those who demonstrate high emotional intelligence, there is always an opportunity to increase awareness of our biases. This will allow you to be a more inclusive leader, reflective of an ability to pivot with different audiences.
- Be selective when choosing your coach. Interview your coach. What is their track record? Have they worked in your industry and do they understand the particular culture you work in? Ask for a framework as to how they would approach your coaching goals. Equally important is the chemistry, right? This is imperative. Regardless of the coach’s skill set and expertise, if the fit is not right, you will not maximize the value of the engagement.
In summary, you must be prepared to be open to direct and transparent feedback. Recognize you always have lots to learn.
When you role model openness to other leadership styles and embrace different ways of influencing, you will capitalize on the multiplier effect. Then, and only then, are you a true enterprise leader.