MCA Training International along with the Global Leadership Platform and their partners have declared this decade of 2020 as the decade for developing authentic leadership. The world can’t carry on supporting insincere, careless, thoughtless, fear-driven leaders who are so focused on protecting their own physical well-being or ego’s and do not have the capacity to genuinely focus on the well-being of the people.
Leaders who are only interested in the number of followers they have are only really building their own ego’s. Unfortunately, we know that when people are only interested in protecting their physical well-being or ego, they operate out of what we call the “Primitive” Brain or the “fight and flight brain”. Therefore, they do not have the ability to think logically and cognitively. Their behaviours and many of their decisions are illogical and often down-right diabolical.
Leaders are people who have the capacity to build leaders, i.e. other leaders who can build leaders. This sustains the ongoing growth of teams, institutions and organisation.
One of the most powerful skills that we can develop as leaders is that of coaching.
Coaching can be defined in several ways:
- Helping others develop their talents in order to achieve a higher level of performance and greater satisfaction at work.
- The process by which you attempt, through discussion and guided activity, to help an individual or team to improve their ability to learn and grow, to solve a problem, or to do a task better.
- One person sharing knowledge, skills and standards with another, and providing feedback so that a specific behaviour either continues or changes.
- Unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them.
- The art of asking questions to get people from where they are to where they want to be.
A common theme running through these definitions is that:
- Coaching is a process, not a once-off attempt – It is aimed at continuous improvement, not instant perfection.
- Coaching is helping, not controlling – The learner’s ideas and thoughts are involved and form the basis of coaching activity.
- Practise is needed to enhance and refine the competencies, through planned activity.
- Most development takes place within the work environment.
- The coaching relationship is essentially action-orientated, enabling and growth-inducing.
In his book, “Masterful Coaching”, Robert Hargrove refers to coaching as a journey and not a destination, which “involves impacting people’s visions and in the simplest, day-in, day-out terms, masterful Coaching involves expanding people’s capacity to take effective action. It often comes down to making it possible for people to succeed in areas where they are most stuck or ineffective.”
Personally, I have always appreciated the Co-Active approach to coaching. The term “co-active” refers to the fundamental nature of a coaching relationship in which the leader and the employee are active collaborators. In co-active coaching, this relationship is an alliance between two equals for the purpose of meeting the employee and the business needs.
The major difference between coaching and teaching is that when we teach, we tell. When we coach, we ask.
Questioning during coaching questions taps into the natural creativity and experiences of the coachee.
- They open up new directions and possibilities.
- They require time for thought and reflection.
- They help the individual clarify actions and define how to move forward.
- They communicate that the person is capable and resourceful.
Not only does questioning cause the coachee to think and come up with solutions, but when they do come up with the solutions, they own the solution. This ownership is what makes the world of difference in a person’s life.
We have developed the Four Step process to coaching. If you follow the process and use your questioning techniques effectively you will normally land up having a very good coaching process.
THE “OCAA” FOUR STEP COACHING PROCESS
Step 1: Outcomes – Clarify with the employee what he or she would like to accomplish and what outcome he or she is wanting.
Step 2: Current Situation – Get an understanding of the employees current situation and perception of the environment in which the employee is operating.
Step 3: Alternatives – Help the employee to identify further options that they could practice in order to move forward.
Step 4: Action – What actions are the employee going to take, including the timelines and the follow up with the coach.
There are just so many benefits to coaching your people.
- Make your job easier when employees build their skill levels.
- Enables greater delegation so you can have more time to truly lead versus “do.”
- Builds your reputation as a people developer.
- Increases productivity when employees know what the goals are and how to achieve them.
- Develops sharing of leadership responsibilities
- Positive recognition and feedback increase employee motivation and initiative.
- Increase the likelihood of tasks being completed in a quality way.
- Avoids surprises and defensiveness in performance appraisals
- Increases creativity and innovation of the team as employees feel safe to take risks.
- Increases team cohesiveness due to clarified goals and roles.
I can’t stress enough the importance of coaching as you develop your team. As a leader, you can’t abdicate this important role. I look forward to hearing of your success in coaching.