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Great Leaders Coach People by Doing This

Wednesday, May 24, 2023 - Joe Kiedinger

How did you get into your job role? The vast majority of people start with an entry-level position and are promoted internally without any formal training. That’s why it’s essential that you continue to educate yourself so you can develop your team and continue to reach higher.

Want to become a great leader? One approach is to adopt a coach mindset with those you lead. Here’s how:

Challenge them

In one-on-ones, you probably hear quite a bit of advice seeking: “Joe, what should I do to make this project more efficient?” Rather than giving them a quick answer from your perspective, instead, lead them to find their own answer.

    Ask a handful of questions about the situation that help them see the full picture and then drill down to a possible solution. Though it may take a few minutes longer, by walking them through a situation and allowing them to come up with the solution themselves, you empower them and show them they can face challenges and come up with solutions that really work.

    Tailor your approach

    Everyone has their own unique motivations and preferences for communication. Ask your associates, “How can I lead you better?” Once you know what they need and want, you can adjust your approach.

    Some people outright ask for black and white feedback on a regular basis, some need more praise about the small things, some prefer a hands-off method while others like as much direction as they can get.

    Set aside a few minutes before each one-on-one meeting and remind yourself what you direct report needs from you, then do your best to coach them in a way that most dignifies them.

    Challenge them

    Picture a movie about a small-town football team and its coach—any one will do. What does that coach do for his team to get them to the next level? More than anything else he or she pushes them toward greatness with a hefty list of challenges that 1) actually stretch the players’ abilities and 2) are achievable.

    You should do this for your team as well.

    According to Deloitte, “two-thirds of millennials expect their managers to help bring them to the next level by providing professional development opportunities.” Where do you want to see your associates grow in their roles? Take a look at their strengths and areas that could use improvement, then ask them to put together a plan to get to the next level.

    Ready to put on your coach hat?

    JOE KIEDINGER

    ACTION PLAN: Don’t forget about your own growth plan! We can help with The Re-Imagined Leader training series —available virtually—and executive coaching services.


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