In my last post, I made a bold statement: A coaching leader is a winning leader. A coaching leader wins over his or her teams with this empowering approach to leadership.
When leader friends hear me talk about being a “coaching leader” or taking a “coach approach” to leadership, their next questions are usually:
How do I become a coaching leader?
How do I take a coach approach to leadership?
In her excellent book, Christ-Centered Coaching, Jane Creswell, MCC shares that coaching leaders must develop two kinds of skills: input skills and output skills.
For today’s post, let’s take a quick look at the 3 primary input skills:
1) Listening: A coaching leader must constantly hone her active listening skills. An active listener is fully engaged: mentally and physically present in the conversation. You’ll also want to do everything you can to avoid distractions and give your team member your full attention. Let the person complete his or her thoughts; do not interrupt. Finally, active listening requires you to stay in the moment; try with all of your might not to mentally jump to conclusion or solutions.
2) Observing: A coaching leader is a keen observer. Pay close attention not only to the content but also the context and language your team member uses. Observe the body language and what it communicates about what he or she is feeling or thinking. Also take note of when that individual shows great enthusiasm or energy around an example. Conversely, be sure and note when a story seems to drain the energy right out of that team member.
3) Receiving insight from the Holy Spirit: A Christian coaching leader will be constantly receiving insight into the situation from the Holy Spirit. Be in a spirit of prayer before, during, and after your conversation. Ask God for help in discerning what and how to share or encourage your team member.
Next week, I’ll share the 3 primary output skills every coaching leader needs. Until then, I would love to hear from you!