Recognize and celebrate achievements: Show appreciation for the team member’s efforts and celebrate their successes, both big and small.
The number one leadership initiative in any organization today is improved coaching. Coaching empowers employees, empowerment drives engagement, and engagement drives performance. At its core, coaching is about transformation. Leading distributed teams requires transforming how we coach and changing our play calls and playbooks to get things done. As a part of our interview series called “Moving From Command & Control to Coaching & Collaboration; How Leaders and Managers Can Become Better Coaches,” we had the pleasure to interview Evan Tzivanakis.
Evan Tzivanakis is an Accredited Executive Coach (www.ExecutiveCoachAsia.com), a Management Consultant, and an Online Visiting Lecturer at the EU Business School, Geneva, Switzerland.
Throughout his career, he has managed more than 500 employees across 8 countries and led companies to expand across the Asia Pacific region by successfully crafting the right company culture and leading people from the front.
With his practical international experience alongside his academic qualifications, Evan specializes in helping high-level professionals develop the skills and strategies they need to reach their full potential and achieve their goals. Through one-on-one coaching sessions, he works with his clients to identify their strengths and areas for improvement and develop personalized action plans to help them achieve success. Whether you are looking to enhance your leadership skills, improve your communication, or navigate a career transition, Evan can help you reach your goals and achieve greater success in your professional life. He does that by offering some of the most educational, impactful, and transformational coaching & training solutions.
Thank you for joining us to explore a critical inflection point in how we define leadership. Our readers would like to get to know you better. What was a defining moment that shaped who you are as a leader?
A significant downturn in a previous company’s financial performance that requires me to implement cost-cutting measures, find ways to turn the situation around, and at the same time engage people and keep employees happy.
John C. Maxwell is credited with saying, “A leader is someone who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” How do you embody that quote as a leader?
To embody this quote as a leader:
- Know the way: This means having a clear vision for what you want to achieve and a plan for how to get there. It also means having a deep understanding of your industry, your team, and your stakeholders.
- Go the way: This means taking action to move your vision forward and being willing to make the tough decisions that are necessary to achieve your goals.
- Show the way: This means leading by example and demonstrating the behaviours and values that you want your team to emulate. It also means providing guidance, support, and mentorship to help your team succeed.
How do you define the differences between a leader as a manager and a leader as a coach?
As for the differences between a leader as a manager and a leader as a coach:
A leader as a manager is primarily responsible for setting goals, allocating resources, and ensuring that work is completed efficiently and effectively. They may also be responsible for evaluating performance and providing feedback to team members.
A leader as a coach, on the other hand, focuses more on developing the skills and abilities of their team members. They provide guidance, support, and mentorship to help team members grow and improve. A leader as a coach may also work with team members to set goals and create development plans, but their primary focus is on helping team members achieve their full potential.
We started our conversation by noting that improved coaching is the number one leadership initiative in any organization today. What are some essential skills and competencies that leaders must have now to be better coaches?
- Communication: Leaders must be able to clearly articulate their expectations and provide constructive feedback to team members. They should also be able to listen actively and be open to feedback from their team.
- Empathy: Leaders should be able to understand and relate to the perspectives and experiences of their team members. This helps them to build trust and create a positive team culture.
- Adaptability: Leaders must be able to adapt to changing circumstances and environments. This means being open to new ideas and approaches and being able to adjust their leadership style as needed.
- Problem-solving: Leaders should be able to identify and address challenges and problems that arise within their team. They should also be able to help team members develop their own problem-solving skills.
- Creativity: Leaders should encourage creativity and innovation within their team and be able to come up with creative solutions to problems and challenges.
- Goal-setting: Leaders should be able to help team members set and work towards clear, achievable goals. They should also be able to help team members track their progress and celebrate their achievements.
- Time management: Leaders should be able to manage their own time effectively and help team members do the same. This includes setting priorities, creating schedules, and ensuring that work is completed efficiently and effectively.
We’re all familiar with the adage, “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” How are you inspiring — rather than mandating — leaders to invest in upskilling and reskilling?
The best ways for a leader to inspire rather than mandate are:
- Communicate a clear and compelling vision: A leader who communicates a clear, inspiring vision for the future can motivate team members to work towards a common goal.
- Empower team members: A leader who trusts and empowers their team to make decisions and take ownership of their work is more likely to inspire than one who micromanages.
- Lead by example: A leader who models the behaviours and values they want their team to emulate is more likely to inspire than one who simply issues orders.
- Recognize and celebrate successes: A leader who recognizes and celebrates the achievements of their team is more likely to inspire than one who takes credit for their team’s successes.
- Foster a positive team culture: A leader who creates a positive, supportive team culture is more likely to inspire than one who fosters a negative or toxic environment.
- Provide support and resources: A leader who provides their team with the support and resources they need to be successful is more likely to inspire than one who sets unrealistic expectations or withholds critical resources.
In today’s rapidly changing business environment, it is essential for leaders to continuously learn and adapt to stay ahead. Investing in upskilling and reskilling can help leaders:
- Stay current on the latest industry trends and best practices.
- Develop new skills and capabilities that will help them be more effective in their role.
- Prepare for new challenges and opportunities that may arise in the future.
- Enhance their team’s performance by providing them with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed.
Leaders who invest in upskilling and reskilling also set a positive example for their team, showing that they value learning and personal development. This can help foster a culture of continuous learning within the organization.
Let’s get more specific. How do you coach someone to do their best work? How can leaders coach for peak performance in our current context? What are your “Top 5 Ways That Leaders and Managers Can Be Effective Coaches?”
There are several strategies a leader can use to coach someone to do their best work:
- Set clear goals and expectations: Help the team member understand exactly what is expected of them and how their work fits into the bigger picture.
- Provide regular feedback: Give timely and specific feedback on the team member’s performance, both positive and constructive. This can help them understand what they are doing well and where they can improve.
- Encourage ownership and autonomy: Give the team member the freedom to take ownership of their work and make decisions within their scope of responsibility.
- Help develop skills and knowledge: Identify the skills and knowledge the team member needs to succeed and provide opportunities for them to learn and grow.
- Foster a positive team culture: Create a supportive and positive team culture where team members feel valued and encouraged to do their best work.
- Provide resources and support: Make sure the team member has the resources and support they need to complete their work effectively.
- Recognize and celebrate achievements: Show appreciation for the team member’s efforts and celebrate their successes, both big and small.
Top 5 Ways That Leaders and Managers Can Be Effective Coaches?”
- Use technology to provide feedback and support: In the digital age, there are many tools and platforms that leaders and managers can use to provide feedback and support to their team members. For example, they can use video conferencing to hold virtual coaching sessions or use online project management tools to track progress and provide feedback in real-time.
- Foster a culture of continuous learning: In today’s rapidly changing business environment, it is important for leaders to encourage a culture of continuous learning. This can involve providing opportunities for team members to learn new skills, attend training programs, or participate in professional development activities.
- Encourage collaboration and teamwork: To be effective coaches, leaders and managers should encourage collaboration and teamwork among their team members. This can involve facilitating regular team meetings, promoting open communication, and creating opportunities for team members to work together on projects and challenges.
- Use data and analytics to inform coaching decisions: Modern leaders and managers should be able to use data and analytics to inform their coaching decisions. For example, they might use data to identify areas where team members need additional support or to track progress towards specific goals.
- Be flexible and adaptable: In today’s dynamic business environment, leaders and managers must be flexible and adaptable in order to be effective coaches. This means being open to new ideas, approaches, and technologies, and being willing to adjust their coaching style as needed to meet the changing needs of their team.
We’re leading and coaching in increasingly diverse organizations. And one aspect of workforce diversity on the rise is generational diversity. What advice would you offer about how to effectively coach a multi-generational workforce? And how do you activate the collective potential of a multi-generational workforce?
Here are a few pieces of advice for effectively coaching a multi-generational workforce:
- Understand the unique characteristics and needs of each generation: Each generation has its own unique characteristics and needs, and it is important for leaders to understand these differences in order to effectively coach their team. For example, younger generations may place a greater emphasis on work-life balance, while older generations may value stability and security.
- Communicate effectively: Leaders should be aware of the different communication styles and preferences of each generation and adjust their own communication style accordingly. For example, younger generations may prefer more frequent, informal communication, while older generations may prefer more formal, structured communication.
- Foster a culture of inclusivity and respect: It is important for leaders to foster a culture of inclusivity and respect in order to effectively coach a multi-generational workforce. This means valuing the contributions and experiences of all team members, regardless of their age or background.
- Offer opportunities for learning and development: Leaders should provide opportunities for all team members to learn and develop new skills, regardless of their age or experience level. This can help ensure that all team members have the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in their roles.
- Encourage collaboration and teamwork: Leaders should encourage collaboration and teamwork among team members of different generations. This can help build relationships and foster a sense of community within the team.
The best way to activate the collective potential of a multi-generational workforce is to encourage cross-generational mentorship: Leaders can encourage team members of different generations to mentor one another. This can help to build relationships and create a sense of community within the team.
You’re referring to emotional intelligence, in a sense. What are two steps every leader can take to demonstrate a higher level of emotional intelligence?
Here are two steps every leader can take to demonstrate a higher level of emotional intelligence:
- Practice self-awareness: Leaders who are self-aware are better able to understand their own emotions and how they impact their behaviour. They can also better understand the emotions and perspectives of others. To increase self-awareness, leaders can practice mindfulness and regularly reflect on their own emotions and behaviours.
- Practice empathy: Leaders who are empathetic are able to understand and relate to the emotions and experiences of others. They are also more likely to create positive, supportive relationships with their team members. To increase empathy, leaders can practice active listening, seek to understand others’ perspectives, and show genuine concern for the well-being of their team.
Words matter. And we’re collectively creating a new leadership language right now. What are the most important words for leaders to use now?
The most important words for leaders to use will depend on the specific context and goals of their leadership. However, some words that are generally important for leaders to use include:
- “We” and “our”: These words help to promote a sense of teamwork and collective responsibility within the team.
- “Thank you”: Showing appreciation and gratitude to team members can help to build morale and foster a positive team culture.
- “What do you think?”: Asking for input and ideas from team members can help to foster a sense of ownership and encourage collaboration.
- “I’m sorry”: Apologizing when appropriate demonstrates humility and can help to build trust and understanding within the team.
- “Let’s discuss”: Encouraging open and honest communication can help to facilitate better collaboration and problem-solving within the team.
- “Here’s what I’m thinking”: Sharing your thoughts and ideas with your team can help to promote transparency and build trust.
- “How can I help?”: Offering help when needed demonstrates vulnerability and can help to create a supportive team environment.
I keep inspiring quotes on my desk. What’s your favorite “Life Lesson Quote,” and why does it mean so much to you?
“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” -Nelson Mandela
This quote speaks to me the importance of resilience and determination. It encourages us to keep striving and to not let setbacks or failures discourage us. Instead, it reminds us that the true measure of success is not in avoiding failure, but in overcoming it and continuing to persevere.
Our readers often like to continue the conversation. What’s the best way for readers to connect with you and to stay current on what you’re discovering?
Via LinkedIn and my website, www.ExecutiveCoachAsia.com
Thank you for a meaningful conversation. We wish you continued success with your mission.