Developing Your Coaching Leadership Style at Work

Key takeaways

  • Leadership coaching is a skill to help people managers leverage the leadership skills within themselves to maximize performance with their peers.
  • Debunking leadership coaching starts with identifying the myths and facts.
  • See more stories on Matter's blog.

What is leadership coaching?

Leadership coaching is a skill to help people managers leverage the leadership skills within themselves to maximize performance with their peers. All and all, leadership coaching helps you increase awareness through candid, straightforward, and concise feedback.

The benefits of leadership coaching are endless. It helps you become more self-aware and make sense of the different aspects of your leadership. Everyone's coaching style is different. To be an effective leader, identifying your approach will only make building a successful team easier.

Debunking leadership coaching

Being a leader is equivalent to a coach. And as company culture evolves, it's important that leadership coaches grow with their environment. Let's start by deciphering what's fact and fiction.

Fiction: Leadership coaching is like book-learning. This type of leadership style is bound to a set of techniques, principles, and styles that can be replicated and applied once learned by anyone.

Fact: Leadership coaching is not a one-size-fits-all style. It's unique to the individual's experience and work style. As a leader, it's important to recognize your own leadership style, strengths, and weaknesses. From there, work on honing your strengths and seek ways to transform your weaknesses into your superpowers. In short, embrace your rare leadership style and refine it as you go along.

Fiction: People are born with the innate ability to lead groups of people and reach goals. And some individuals aren't.

Fact: While some people are naturally more charismatic some are a bit more reserved, it doesn't mean that people can or can't be leaders. As a growth mindset individual, it's important to be aware of the skills you can develop. While many professional have a unique set of skills that make them better leaders, doesn't mean those who are striving to be leaders can't cultivate the same skills. It just take some practice and time.

Once you’ve identified those strengths and weaknesses you'll work to your advantage and learn to better use them. Remember, leaders are made not born.

Fiction: Leadership coaching only adhere to beginners or those early in their careers as opposed to senior-level, experienced professionals.

Fact: Would you expect a star athlete to make it to the Olympic trials and then stop their training and coaching sessions? Of course not. It’s no different for leadership coaching. The further you go in your career doesn't mean you stop asking for feedback, teeter the guidance, and turn a blind eye to your weaknesses. There's always room to improve.

Coaching skills for aspiring leaders

We want to help you unlock the hidden new skills, reveal new insights, and more importantly get you ramped up on the core elements when it comes to leadership coaching. Here are some tips to keep in mind when building up your coaching skills:

  • Setting a north star. Part of leadership coaching is ensuring that everyone in the organization is aligned with the end goal. Coaches should clarify the north star, accelerate decisions, and get buy-in from their teams when pursuing these goals.
  • Being empathic. Empathy builds trust, and teams who trust you will be more open to suggestions, especially during difficult decisions. Empathy is an essential leadership skill. To truly connect and offer support, exercise your empathy skills to help you better understand your team members.
  • Offering support. Coaching embodies the notion of support. As a leadership coach, look for opportunities to offer a helping-hand through one-on-one meetings, project syncs, feedback sessions, and even wellness checks.
  • Asking questions. Whether you're asking or encouraging others, keep curiosity at the forefront of your team. Being available to asks challenging questions or even bringing up your own will prompt rich conversations where your team can arrive at their own conclusions, solve problems with others, and reach their own goals.
  • Opening doors. Don't be mistaken, coaching is less about telling people what to do. In actuality, it's about more about guiding them to the appropriate solutions, optimizing on the 'aha' moments, and clarifying questions or roadblocks they may face.
  • Encouraging collaboration. Coaches should always promote team collaboration and any creative jam sessions among team members. It's the best way to get ideas, skills, experiences, and opinions flowing.  And when individuals work together openly, goals become more aligned leading to success faster.
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