• Tony Richards

The Coaching Leader

What is the job of the leader who is also developing people as a coach? It’s a great question, and one I will happily scribe about today.

Effective coaching must start with a relationship.

The gift of relationship is something that should not easily be given, but can be through diligent effort, earned. Such as it is to be a leader, who also is a coach. Coaching people is a privilege you receive by submission of the person who you are helping to develop as a leader or as a person you are helping to get better. Coaching is a partnership between a leader or an outside coach and an individual that supports the achievement of results, based on goals set by the individual. Through the process of coaching, individuals focus on the skills and actions needed to successfully produce their personally relevant results.

The key to the heart of coaching is not to see people as they are today, but to envision them as they can be in a fuller level of their true potential. As a coaching leader, all your interactions should be geared toward your people’s destiny, not necessarily toward their problems. This may be difficult as some of your folks may have some interesting problems. Coaches work in the certain belief that people have vast reserves of potential which are rarely used and that it is the coach’s job to draw it out.

Your job is to always be getting to a deeper level of relationship with your people. Get to know their dreams, hopes, fears, strengths and weaknesses. It’s possible you may get to know them even better than they realize or even know themselves. This is where the real power of coaching lies.

We get to celebrate with them when they get a victory, and have empathy for them when they experience a defeat or when things don’t quite work out as they had envisioned. We see them in their best moments, and when we see them in their worst–we still believe in them.

Believing in people just will not work on a superficial level. You can’t have a true, lasting effect on someone with a passing comment and a shallow relationship. The effect goes as far as the relationship goes deep. This is true when you are encouraging as well as discouraging. In a deep relationship, when you say the wrong thing, it goes deep as well, with very disastrous results. Such is the reason for high self-awareness for the effective leader. You must be highly aware of the effects your words and actions have on each of the relationships you have within your organization. Your words can have both an empowering and disempowering effect based on the depth of that relationship.

Remember, when you are functioning in your leadership role as coach, people do not truly feel believed in until they are truly known. What can you do to get to know your followers better? What do you need to do to believe in them more?

The power of belief only will flow through being:

  1. Open

  2. Authentic

  3. Self-aware

  4. Trustworthy

  5. Empathetic

and giving:

  1. Support

  2. Encouragement

  3. Direction

  4. Help

  5. Belief

How can you add to my list of attributes of a great leader as coach?

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