4 Steps for More Effective Leadership Coaching

Effective leadership coaching helping hand up mountain

Effective Leadership Coaching
Supporting your team members’ professional development through more effective leadership coaching has a significant impact on whether your employees coast or perform, whether they stagnate or grow and whether they stay or leave.

Why Leadership Coaching Matters
We believe leadership coaching matters because:

  • People create business results
  • People have the ability to change
  • People have more success changing when they have a good coach

This is especially true when the coach uses a disciplined process to provide observations, recommendations and tools to improve areas that matter most to the individual and to the company.  Effective leadership coaching also helps to contextualize issues into terms that make them manageable and actionable while looking for teachable moments.

And the best teachable moments often provide the opportunity to provide both positive and constructive feedback about attitudes, beliefs, approaches, skills, assumptions and tactics that matter most.

Four Proven Steps for Better Leadership Coaching
Follow these four steps for better leadership coaching results:

  1. Build Rapport: Many believe that rapport building is at the root of effective communication and relationship building.  Approach your direct report in a way that will open, not close down, effective communication.  First suspend your ego.  Second, highlight common interests whenever possible.  And third, match and mirror their style of behavior, energy level, tone and body language.
  2. Establish a Clear Agenda: Present the purpose of the discussion, the process you would like to follow and the anticipated benefits of your discussion.  Then listen to their thoughts and adjust the agenda accordingly so that you co-create your plan of attack together to increase accountability and commitment for the discussion.
  3. Give Specific and Timely Feedback: Discuss specifically what the employee is doing well, what needs improvement and why the change is important to them as an individual, you as their boss and the team/company as a whole.
  4. Create a Mutual Action Plan: Agree upon a “go forward” strategy that you both think will get the desired results in a way that makes sense for the person and within your organizational culture.  From our experience, the best action plans have 30, 60 and 90-day windows and work on bite-sized changes and improvements. The idea is to shorten the learning cycle and to increase opportunities to improve your abilities.

Then think of the most critical member of your team. What feedback could you give on current work that would show your concern and interest in their professional development?

To learn more about effective leadership coaching, download 8 Reasons Leaders Need 360 Degree Feedback

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