Leader as a coach: Part 1

Essential skills and behaviours needed by a leader in order to be an effective coach to their team.

Leader coaches are able to sort out the range of issues in a given situation, to see how they relate to each other and to the big picture. They provide clarity and context for meaningful discussions to occur among individuals and organizational teams.

Unconditionally Honest
Leader coaches are able to tell the truth while remaining completely constructive. They have a high level of awareness of themselves and of their impact on others. Their honesty enables them to “get to the heart of the matter”, quickly, and to influence others to fully participate in finding creative responses to organizational challenges.

Excellent Listening and Evoking Skills
Leader coaches listen with the intention to fully understand others rather than to direct or coerce. They believe that others have abundant knowledge and wisdom to make meaningful contributions to the work of the organization. They know how to ask the penetrating questions which enable others to surface their underlying assumptions about themselves, their work, and their teams which either contribute to or impede their performance.

Expansive Sphere of Trust
Leader coaches are trusting of others, and they are trustworthy. Leader coaches develop trust by letting other see them for who they really are, being unconditionally constructive in their communications, admitting their own mistakes, accepting the mistakes of others, and demonstrating genuine interest in other people.

Balance the Need for Learning with the Need for Results
Leader coaches recognize the relationship between the learning that results from risk taking and the achievement of breakthrough results. They recognize that fostering an environment which supports deep personal learning makes possible radical shifts in thinking, valuing and behaving which lead to breakthrough improvements in products and services.

Affirm and Acknowledge
Leader coaches affirm with their words and actions the natural desire that others have to develop and grow, to control their own work, and to be recognized for their contributions. They see that everyone, regardless of organizational status or position, has the potential to develop beyond current skills and responsibilities.