A coaching leader is a winning leader. A coaching leader wins over his or her team with this empowering approach to leadership.
In my last post, I shared the 3 primary input skills needed by a coaching leader: listening, observing, and receiving insight from the Holy Spirit. With effort and attention, these input skills will become strong aspects of your leadership and your life and help you develop a coach approach to leadership.
But isn’t there a place for communicating back to your team? Absolutely! These are what author and executive coach Jane Creswell calls the output skills. The 3 primary output skills every coaching leader needs to develop are:
1) Asking powerful questions: The point of asking powerful questions is to help your team member come to a new awareness or fresh perspective. Powerful questions are:
- Open-ended: They encourage the sharing of ideas and information. How, what, or when are excellent starters for open-ended questions.
- Clear and concise: Avoid asking multiple questions. Try to ask your question with as few words as possible.
- Non-judgmental: Your questions should not have a pre-determined answer you are fishing for. Avoid leading questions.
2) Encouraging: Do your best to be encouraging in your facial expressions, body language, and tone. When it’s time to use words, be specific, concise, and sincere.
3) Delivering concise messages: When you sense from the Holy Spirit that you should say something beyond a question or word of encouragement, be concise. Instead of sharing a long story, share the main point while keeping the focus on others, not you. Think bulleted lists instead of paragraphs in an essay.
Just like any new skill, it takes practice for coaching skills to become second-nature. In your next conversation, try focusing on improving just one of these output skills. Also, look at other coaching leaders, and observe what they do well. Ask if you can observe them taking a coach approach with one of their team members. I love to watch other coaches in action. I always pick up a new idea or hear a powerful question that can apply to my own leadership.
I would love to hear from you as you try taking a coach approach in your leadership!