The 10 Practices of the Coaching-Leader

Top talent doesn’t like being told what to do. Authoritarian leaders are becoming dinosaurs.

Expect to coach, if you expect to lead.

The practices of coaching maximize talent and enable fulfillment.

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The 10 practices of the coaching-leader:

#1. Compassionately prepare for relationship before coaching sessions begin. Internal coaches wear several hats.Tell coachees they matter by being prepared for their arrival.

  1. Give yourself three to five minutes to prepare before they arrive.
  2. Turn off or put away distractions. This includes cell phones. Recent research shows that just the presence of a cell phone hampers interpersonal connections.
  3. Remind yourself of the strengths and potential of your coachee. Don’t coach anyone you don’t believe in.
  4. Expect others to be like themselves, not like you.
  5. Review notes from previous sessions.
  6. Reconnect with coaching behaviors like forward-facing curiosity and calm listening.
  7. Let go of your aspirations for your coachee. Their aspirations matter more than yours.

#2. Exercise courageous authenticity. Success includes bringing your true self to challenges and opportunities. Your authenticity opens the door for theirs.Everyone who fakes it, invites others to fake it too.

  1. Allow for the journey in yourself and others. Reject perfectionism.
  2. Share lessons learned from mistakes, when applicable.
  3. Reject blame. Never defend your weakness or failure because of someone else’s behaviors.
  4. Allow for confident self-doubt. “I’m not sure. But we can figure this out.”
  5. Joyfully celebrate your strengths.Being transparent with weaknesses is the playing field for celebrating skills and talents.

#3. Consistently build safe environments. We are most afraid of being our true selves. After all, if your true self is rejected, what’s left?

  1. Say thank you when you hear courageous honesty.
  2. Relax and lean in when you feel like pulling away. Change often begins in awkward moments.
  3. Take on one issue at a time.

What behaviors exemplify preparing for relationship, courageous authenticity, or building safe environments? (Please feel free to add to or modify the lists.)

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The remaining seven practices. More tomorrow.

#4. Cling to forward-facing curiosity.

#5. Engage in calm listening.

#6. Provide vulnerable reflections.

#7. Carefully monitor energy.

#8. Inspire ownership by aligning values, strengths, and purpose.

#9. Clarify goals – coaching goals are ultimately about behaviors.

#10. Establish self-designed accountability.

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