Great companies will always say their employees’ happiness is paramount in building healthy company culture and public trust. It’s the one thing that is held in the highest regard, oftentimes more so than company performance and stock value. An idyllic picture of leadership is composed of highly attuned managers that are expert listeners, empathetic professionals, and excellent coaches. Why don’t more companies have great leaders at all levels?
People ascend the career ladder and usually get into leadership positions based on their tactical performance and years of experience. These employees are often thrust into leadership positions with an implicit expectation that coaching skills are already in place and that they can be successful leaders because they have been successful doers. As with anything worth having, there is work involved in developing effective employee leaders. Companies seeking to reap the benefits of having top-notch leaders at all levels must provide employees with professional development resources and opportunities that include learning how to coach others for success.
Here is a step-by-step guide that describes the essential requirements to stimulate coaching for leadership.
The Value of Coaching
Leadership teams must come together to determine what, if anything, they believe is the long-term value of coaching in their organization. What’s the value of coaching, and what are the risks of not providing coaching? Though the short-term value of coaching may be viewed as minimal, coaching over the long haul typically results in a more productive workforce and lower churn on employees, resulting in potentially exponential company savings.
Not All Coaches Are Equal
Once the long term value of coaching is agreed upon, it’s essential to take a long hard look in the mirror and determine if current leadership teams have all the skills required for effective coaching. Not only are active listening skills needed, but also empathy, transparency and a measure of vulnerability that are also required. Good coaches show an honest interest in the wellbeing and success of other people. More importantly, great coaches facilitate the coached person’s ability to find their own solutions rather than relying on someone else to do the critical thinking for them. It should not be an assumption that all people in leadership roles possess these qualities and skills or even desire to be a coach. As stated previously, employees are often promoted into leadership roles due to their performance as employees, not their demonstrated leadership abilities.
Once the value of coaching has been established within the organization and the leadership team has taken a critical look at themselves regarding their current coaching skillset, it’s time for the organization to put words into action by demonstrating the importance of coaching through modeling this behavior and by providing the resources needed for ongoing development within their ranks. By eliminating the overly competitive, zero sum culture where one person is promoted by stepping on others and replacing it with a Together Everyone Achieves More culture, companies can dispose of the scarcity mindsets that become stumbling blocks along the pathway to great company culture. Actions speak louder than words, and so positive actions will strongly reinforce the company’s position that they do indeed value the personal and professional development stimulated by great coaching.
Contact EPIC Mission for Guidance
In the end, coaching for leadership relies on trust. Trust that a discussion on coaching won’t become a laughing matter discussed openly around the water cooler or on Facebook. Trust that when someone in leadership admits to not being a good coach this admission is seen as strength, not as a weakness. And trust to open up and be a bit vulnerable without the fear of negative consequences. If trust is lacking within an organization, better coaching is no longer a want but an absolutely dire need.
Contact EPIC Mission to learn how to become a better leader in your workplace. We will come alongside you in your journey to meet you where you are and help you become a Hero of Change.