How to be more coach-like
Here are some tips for leaders on how to become more coach-like.
Michael Bungay Stanier, author of the best-selling coaching book of the century The Coaching Habit, says:
“If you’d like a better team, if you’d like to feel less stressed, if you’d like to be doing more work that matters, being more coach-like can help with that.”
Most leaders, unfortunately, are not coach-like.
The main reason? They give advice too much and too often.
- “I have to provide answers!”
- “I am responsible!”
- “I have a great solution for this!”
- “I don’t have time to be coach-like!”
Fortunately, being coach-like doesn’t have to take loads of time and there are some simple things you can try immediately.
Step 1: Choose your being
Who we are is more important than what we do.
Some ways into a coaching way of being are:
- Be lazy (stop doing all the work, lean back)
- Relate to the other person’s potential (they can solve this!)
Step 2: Ask coaching questions
Many people get stuck in asking closed or leading questions.
This is you steering and having an agenda. Instead, ask open, powerful, coaching questions like:
- “What do you want to get out of this conversation?”
- “What do you need in order to…?”
- “What’s missing for you to…?”
Step 3: Listen!
Play back what you hear free from advice or solutions. This will help them clarify their thinking and choose a way forward.
Ultimately, the best way to be more coach-like is to practise. Every interaction can be a little more coach-like if you remember these three steps: choose your being, ask coaching questions, and listen.
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