Coaching is one way of doing all that – motivating, empowering, valuing – and more. Coaching is a skill, a set of tools and also a mindset. What I’m presenting here is coaching as a skill and set of tools. This will not make you a certified coach; this will assist you in using coaching skills as an option in your toolbox of leadership skills.
Benefits of Coaching
- People learn to think their way through a situation, enabling them, making them less reliant on you.
- People bring their ideas and thoughts to the situation which might result in new, unique solutions and more creativity and diversity of thinking.
- It’s less work for you in the long run as you train them to figure it out (make them more independent and empower them when it is done well).
- You don’t have to know everything all the time (which might be a blow to your ego).
- People feel valued and heard and often are more engaged as they are genuinely asked to explore their ideas.
- You develop leaders, grow greater talent, thereby growing the organization’s capability (and it just might be more fulfilling for you).
Coaching is really just the creation of a reflective space for someone (the client or coachee or employee or fellow human being) to figure out their own solutions and ideas in relation to a particular topic. This is done by the coach (or leader in your case) listening in a deep and non-judgemental way and asking open (sometimes powerful) questions that help the employee discover ideas and possibilities in themselves.
I’ve coached people for 10 minutes who were passing by on the street (it was part of a street team providing free coaching in London) and been given feedback that they found the experience profound. I’ve coached people for hours to the same result, meaning coaching can be 10 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour or longer – depending on the situation, topic, what they want out of it and the time you have.
Listening is the starting point for great communication including coaching. Through my coach training with The Co-Active Training Institute (CTI), I learned there were three levels to listening, which changed how I listen and engage (most of the time)1.
The Three Levels of Listening
Try listening at these 3 levels – what have you noticed?
1 Witworth, Laura and Karen Kinsey-House, Henry Kinsey-House, Phillip Sandahl. Co-Active Coaching. Davies-Black Publishing. P34-40, 2007