Be attentive and observant. Pay attention to your team members both individually and as a group. See what makes them tick and what their goals and motivations are. This always happens when people want to follow one check box model. It doesn’t work that way. As you get to know people, you will understand they aren’t meant to be in a box. They are intended to have a better understanding of self. Only then can you see and connect with what works for that client.
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 of interviewing Kristina M. Holle.
Kristina is a performance coach and the founder of Holle Consulting. Kristina Holle will take your leadership skills to the next level. Her coaching and her book, The Authentic You, provides the tools and guidance you need to unlock your true potential.
At Holle Consulting, we understand that creating a work culture where people can thrive is essential for any successful business. We specialize in helping organizations build a culture that encourages collaboration, innovation, and growth.
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?
Leaders emerge through adversity. When I was younger, I learned to navigate some challenging times in my life. I had to step forward and do the right thing and speak up because everyone needed to succeed. I now realize that those times in our lives define our leadership. When we need to learn how to pivot, adapt, preserve, and be resilient, we acquire these leadership skills. These are skills that are required in workplaces today. This increased awareness makes all the difference in how you proceed because you realize that you already have these skills and don’t need to look to others to reclaim them because they already exist in you and your personal story.
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?
Your actions define who you are much more than words. How do you show up in the world when no one is looking? Do you show up as a kind and compassionate person who does the right thing for yourself and others?
My approach to leadership is rooted in authenticity. By being true to yourself, you can become the leader you were meant to be. You can learn to embrace your unique strengths and weaknesses and use them to your advantage. You lead by example.
Authenticity is the key that unlocks the door to success for any leader. As influential figures, leaders must strive to display the best of themselves and their capabilities; to do this, they must lead with integrity, transparency, and honesty. Leaders who aren’t comfortable being open and honest with their peers, team, and followers are more likely to be perceived as untrustworthy and unreliable.
By being genuine, leaders can more effectively lead their teams and instill trust and confidence in them. This enables their teams to feel more secure and motivated and, in turn, helps their leader to achieve tremendous success. Similarly, when followers see leaders displaying a sense of genuine honesty and openness, they are more likely to trust that person and ultimately help the leader to achieve their goals.
Authenticity is also vitally important when it comes to inspiring others. As a leader, if you don’t communicate authentically, others may not feel inspired or confident in following your lead. Leaders must be authentic when empowering and inspiring their teams to achieve their goals.
How do you define the differences between a leader as a manager and a leader as a coach?
There’s a big difference between a leader who’s a manager and a leader who’s a coach.
A manager is responsible for a group of people; their focus is meeting deadlines, achieving goals, and maintaining order. They plan and organize, and delegate tasks to their team.
A coach, however, focuses on developing their team and helping them reach their potential. They don’t just tell their team what to do — they guide them, support them, and give them the tools they need to succeed. They see and value the people on the team, not just the task. They develop the strengths and weaknesses of each team member to overlay the greater good of themselves and the team. Much like a sports team. It helps ensure that people are in the correct positions and assist in helping them see themselves and grow. Understand it is a more than one size fits all approach. It allows them to see their future 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?
Leaders must always be one step ahead if they want to be good coaches for their teams. Identifying critical skills and competencies in the modern world is essential to being a successful leader. Leadership is constantly changing and evolving, and leaders must continually learn and grow to help their teams reach their full potential.
Developing strong communication and interpersonal skills is critical to successful leadership. Leaders must communicate clearly and honestly with their teams, external stakeholders, and influencers. Leaders must also be empathetic and compassionate, able to respond to others and challenge them in constructive and considerate ways.
Motivating and inspiring teams to do their best is critical to successful coaching. Leaders must be able to inspire team members to be relentless and passionate about achieving their goals and must also understand how to motivate and keep them motivated.
Providing constructive feedback is another essential skill that successful leaders need. Leaders must be able to provide meaningful and valuable feedback to their teams using the proper techniques and styles. Giving feedback effectively and efficiently is critical to fostering a positive and productive work environment.
Leaders must also be able to spot and develop new opportunities to ensure their team is always moving forward. Thinking outside the box and being creative and open-minded allows leaders to generate fresh ideas and find original solutions.
Accountability and acknowledging successes and failures are also critical to successful leadership. Leaders must ensure they carry their team through times of success and take responsibility for setbacks or missteps.
Strong awareness of the company’s culture, values , and goals is essential for successful leaders. Leaders need to be aware of the culture and values within the organization so they can guide the team in the right direction and ensure everyone is working towards the same goals.
Leadership also requires strategic thinking and planning skills. Leaders must be able to consider both short-term and long-term goals and implement plans and strategies to achieve them. Strategic thinking allows leaders to anticipate potential problems and adapt their projects to the changing environment.
Other essential skills that leaders need are problem-solving skills, analytical skills, and strong decision-making skills. Leaders must be able to assess the situation and develop solutions on the spot, taking into account their team’s strengths, weaknesses, and goals.
Finally, leadership with integrity is essential to successful leadership. That means being trustworthy and having high ethical standards that are always upheld. Leaders also need to self-assess and continually look for ways to improve to realize their full potential as a coach.
We’re 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?
First and foremost, I lead by example! I would only do what I say and say what I do! I am living my authentic life and being purposeful in my work. I can’t ask people to be an authentic leader if I am not operating in that space. For example, I left my corporate job, started my own business, wrote a book, and now offer workshops to help leaders discover their exceptional gifts. I only do this as I have learned the value of looking within and owning your personal story so you can show up more effectively as a leader. I could only teach the importance of authenticity if I was authentic with myself and had done the work. I teach how to make the self-discovery journey so they can use their personal stories to inspire and motivate. This radical self-acceptance creates inspiration as they can see they no longer need to hide or follow a script to be a leader. This leadership works to make a sustained change in their life.
Here are just a few of the benefits of owning your story.
Letting Go of the Past: When you own your story, you let go of outside influences that tend to stand in the way of achieving your goals. Whether it’s self-doubt, fear, guilt, or shame, owning your story requires that you take full responsibility for yourself and your past.
Living an Authentic Life: When you own the narrative of your life, you can step into the present moment with clarity and purpose. You no longer need to be haunted by the shadows of the past and can focus on creating an authentic and meaningful life.
Building Connections: When you self-identify through owning your story, you create a natural connection to those around you. It’s easier to open up and be vulnerable with people, and it makes sense to build off community. Rewriting our stories allows us to connect with people much deeper.
Openness to Growth: You learn to practice self-awareness and acceptance by owning your story. This helps you to be open to different perspectives and the idea of growth through successes and failures. By setting healthier boundaries and understanding our values, we can learn how to make wise choices that benefit our personal growth.
Positive Change: Taking ownership of your story and life can significantly impact your future. It creates an opportunity to make positive changes in the present and the future, whether through changing habits or starting new ones.
Improved Mental Health: By owning your story, you can gain control of your mental health. You can choose to explore and address any underlying issues, as well as create new ways to improve your mental well-being. Letting go of the past create space for new beginnings and the potential to heal.
Taking Responsibility: When you own your story, you take responsibility for your life and actions. It allows you to understand that all choices have a consequence, good or bad — and it’s essential to own our decisions and accept their outcomes.
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 Leaders and Managers Can Be Effective Coaches?”
Any leader or manager looking to be an effective coach must remember that they are dealing with human beings. Here are five ways to be an effective coach:
1. Be attentive and observant. Pay attention to your team members both individually and as a group. See what makes them tick and what their goals and motivations are. This always happens when people want to follow one check box model. It doesn’t work that way. As you get to know people, you will understand they aren’t meant to be in a box. They are intended to have a better understanding of self. Only then can you see and connect with what works for that client.
2. Ask questions and encourage dialogue. Please get to know your team members and let them get to know you. Create an environment where open communication is encouraged. You have to create a space that is open for anything to come up and not be restricted to certain areas because, In my practice, I see that people have things from another chapter in their life that is being dragged into their leadership style and may not be serving them. I call those the lead balloons we move through our chapters of life. It is time to put them down. That only happens when we can have open conversations where we can identify feelings our patterns that are being repeated.
3. Be supportive and positive. Nobody likes a Debbie Downer. Show your team that you believe in them and their ability to succeed. I’ve experienced that it allows people to be open and engage in the process. It will enable you to have a deeper conversation without judging that judgment because you don’t know how someone is holding on to things and carrying them into their future. It is not our place to judge. It is merely to provide support and help them work through it. Having a positive mindset is necessary to do this work. You are sharing positive energy and helping boost your clients to grow and see limitless possibilities period
4. Be honest and direct. Don’t beat around the bush. Tell your team members what they need to know, even if it’s not what they want to hear. I am a truth speaker; I help people see what they don’t see. Once we have an honest conversation, then we can start working. I think you have to be able to have frank and direct discussions if you want to get to the root of the issue. How you speak honestly will make the difference. Be encouraging and helpful. Help your team members grow and develop both professionally and personally. Be there for them when they need you.
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?
Many organizations need help finding the best way to coach employees from different generations. Several challenges, such as other work styles, motivations, and expectations, come with this.
However, some tips can help you coach a multi-generational workforce effectively. Here are four of them:
1. Be aware of the different generational cultures.
Each generation has its own culture and values. As a coach, you must know these differences to tailor your coaching style to fit each individual.
2. Use a variety of coaching methods.
One size does not fit all when it comes to coaching. What works for one employee may not work for another. It’s essential to use a variety of methods so you can find the one that works best for each individual.
3. Be flexible with your coaching.
Flexibility is critical when coaching a multi-generational workforce. Employees from different generations may have different schedules, work styles, and availability. It’s essential to be flexible so you can accommodate everyone’s needs.
4. Be open to feedback.
Feedback is essential for any coach. It’s important to be open to employee feedback to improve your coaching method.
It’s no secret that the workforce is becoming increasingly multi-generational. With baby boomers, Generation Xers, and millennials all working side-by-side, it’s more important than ever to find ways to activate the collective potential of this diverse group of workers.
One of the best ways to do this is to focus on cultivating a culture of respect and inclusion. When all workers feel respected and valued, they are more likely to be engaged and productive.
There are several ways to foster a culture of respect in the workplace. One is to make sure that everyone has a voice in decision-making. This can be done through regular team meetings where everyone is encouraged to share their ideas.
Another way to show respect in the workplace is to provide employees with opportunities for professional development. This opportunity can include tuition assistance or paid time off to attend conferences. Employees who invest in their development are more likely to be engaged in their work.
Finally, it is essential to create a workplace where employees feel like they can be their authentic selves. This can be done by things like ensuring that there are policies in place that protect employees from discrimination.
The collective potential is activated when the workforce is more diverse and inclusive. You can unleash the power of a multi-generational workforce by fostering respect and inclusion.
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?
- Get to know yourself and understand what makes you tick — Your Authentic Self.
- Take the time to see and hear others by developing empathy.
Demonstrating a high level of emotional intelligence can be one of the most important things you do in life. In any situation, displaying emotional intelligence can help you better understand the feelings of those around you and your own. Therefore, it is essential to understand the different aspects that come together to create a higher level of emotional intelligence.
One of the most critical aspects of emotional intelligence is being able to understand and recognize the feelings of others. It is essential to be mindful of the feelings of those around you so that you don’t do or say anything that may hurt them. Additionally, if you are trying to resolve a problem, understanding the feelings of those involved can give you the insight you need to come to a successful solution.
It is also essential to recognize your feelings to accurately communicate with those around you and know when to take a break. This awareness can be tricky for some people, as it is easy to ignore our emotions and pretend everything is okay. However, emotional intelligence involves taking the time to understand the thoughts and feelings bubbling underneath the surface.
It is also essential to be able to adjust your behavior depending on the situation. People react differently in different environments, and emotional intelligence requires the ability to gauge these reactions and adjust accordingly. For instance, if you know someone is easily irritated, it’s important to be aware of how you interact with them and speak to them to avoid provoking them.
In addition, utilizing empathy can greatly help show a higher level of emotional intelligence. This awareness involves imagining yourself in another person’s shoes and then reacting with kindness to the best of your ability. This is especially beneficial when resolving a conflict so that both sides can be heard.
Finally, assertiveness is integral to demonstrating a higher level of emotional intelligence. Assertiveness involves standing up for yourself or those around you without being aggressive or rude. Showing intensity under challenging situations makes it clear that you understand how to stand up for yourself without being too hurtful to anyone else.
All of these elements come together to create greater emotional intelligence. When you consider these different aspects, reaching a higher level of emotional intelligence is possible, making it easier to navigate interpersonal relationships and difficult situations. So, if you want to demonstrate a higher level of emotional intelligence, remember to be aware of the feelings of those around you, check in with yourself, adjust your behavior accordingly, practice empathy, and display assertiveness.
Words matter. And we’re collectively creating a new leadership language right now. What are the most important words for leaders to use now?
At this time, more than ever, businesses need to foster meaningful connections with their customers and their employees. Companies must create an atmosphere of trust, understanding, and collaboration.
I keep inspiring quotes on my desk. What’s your favorite “Life Lesson Quote,” and why does it mean so much to you?
“A mistake is always repeated until a lesson is learned!”
I love this quote. After all, it speaks that we are on a learning journey, continuously growing to learn — do not fear failure because it is only a failure if you do not learn something. The reality, this is the only way you grow!
Our readers often like to continue the conversation. What’s the best way for readers to connect with you and stay current on what you’re discovering?
Wisdom Chats: https://app.wisdom.audio/profiles/719…
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to experience a leadership master at work. We wish you continued success and good health!