Strong, successful leaders are those who help their team become more and go further. A hard hand, harsh pushes, and superiority complexes are not the way to lead in this modern world. These outdated techniques create rifts in teams and lead to underperformance.
Success that surpasses expectations comes by bringing out the value in your team, by combining strengths to do something greater than each individual could do on their own. A leader can bring people together to do good for a company, a cause, and the world as a whole.
How does a leader make this kind of powerful impact? By learning coaching skills to better lead their team to outstanding results. When a person in charge steps up to be a leader and a coach, success is amplified.
Here are 5 coaching skills that every leader should learn:
As a coach, it is key to not hand all the answers to your clients but instead facilitate change and growth. This important concept, when adopted by a leader, lets go of the notion that those in charge need to be in control of all of the action steps taken. Instead, facilitation makes the process easier for everyone involved. It helps those under the leader navigate and find direction when making a change but makes the team more confident in their abilities to be a valuable part of the process.
A true leader does not obsess about getting all the credit but instead becomes a powerful catalyst for positive change and growth by knowing that the stronger those under them become, the more they will accomplish towards their vision.
Facilitation skills include being able to target goals and create a vision, seeing and bridge gaps, being able to rally people under a cause, asking the questions that drive results and realizations, creating timelines, allow others to be heard, and more.
A good facilitator can grow a loyal team, where members feel more confident, valuable, and are willing to participate.
Use Questions to Leverage Your Team’s Expertise
This is perhaps one of the most important aspects of facilitation and is a defining characteristic of coaching. As a leader, you are likely full of expertise and hold a well of valuable information. However, a leader that always needs to be in charge of every detail, idea, and avoids asking for input misses out on the strength and bonding that comes from collaboration.
By learning to ask questions to dig into what your team, tribe, or following knows, you discover what an asset and creative boost multiple perspectives can provide. When you understand those under you, you can more effectively lead. When you trust others to hold their own expertise, you unlock a treasure chest of potential.
However, those who are under you may not know how to bring their best ideas to the surface or may feel they lack the permission to share fully. This is where questions come in. When you learn the art of asking questions and use your questions to search beyond the surface, you unlock potential and allow yourself to be seen as a leader who helps bring out the best in others.
To keep your team wanting to contribute, it is important to reinforce the idea that they are indeed capable. When your facilitation and question asking bring the gold to the surface, it is important to acknowledge how good of a job those below you are doing. This positive reinforcement is a staple of coaching as it can be used to create momentum and positive belief that makes a person want to continue producing results.
This reinforcement must come across as genuine. Authentic your reinforcement strengthens the resolve to continue working through potential difficulties. This is about learning to lead from a place of love over hate.
Aim to Empower
A coach’s job is not to make the change for the client but instead to empower the client to create a positive future for themselves. An empowered following or team is a leader’s dream. When empowered, the team feels as though they can bring the leader’s vision to life and will take action from a willing place to secure a mutually beneficial future.
The key to empowerment is threefold. First, a leader must share and enroll the team in a vision that they want to be a part of, that is, create a mutual purpose and drive to achieve a success that will be good for everyone. Second, empowerment comes from making the team feel as though their contribution is an important and significant part of achieving that good. Finally, the third part of empowerment is providing positive reinforcement that makes the team feel capable.
Getting a buy-in, making the team valuable, and helping them hold belief in their capability will ease a leader’s path to success, creating great results for all.
Create Opportunities for Growth
Each of these coaching skills comes together under this last coaching concept and skill. Success is amplified when a leader creates growth opportunities. By positively challenging a team and following to become better versions of themselves, a leader can take achievement further than any individual would be able to go on their own.
Growth is instigated when each of the above skills are used by a leader. Growth is the way by which a leader brings out the best in their team. Growth allows expectations to be surpassed in a way that creates a more significant impact for all.
With these 5 coaching skills, you can take your leadership abilities to new heights and make a difference while you do.