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Coaching leadership – this is how it works

Coaching leadership involves a more informal leadership style that doesn't suit everyone. Coaching leadership might best suit the confident and courageous manager because this is about letting go and letting people take responsibility while you, as the boss, coach them during the trip.

The gains
The benefits of coaching is that staff will feel more involved in the company and that they get development opportunities that they may not have gotten under a more authoritarian boss. In the most ideal of cases, you get staff who both become better at their jobs and also remain longer within the company and make it work.

Background to coaching
The theories of leadership coaching stems from the world of sport where coaches help the team members to develop their own potential for the team to achieve their collective goals. Each individual becomes more important and the manager must spend time to take an interest in his staff as individuals more than in authoritarian organizations.

The founder of the concept of leadership coaching, John Whitmore, posed four questions to his employees to challenge their way of thinking:

1. What do you want?
2. What does it look like now?
3. What can you do?
4. What will you do?

How do you get started with coaching?

  • Release the reins
    Let the person you delegate to be responsible and do the task on his own, but be sure to be available to assist if needed. The key here is not to delegate a task without a desired result. How they do it, is their business. Being a good coaching leader means that you inspire other people's trust in you, and they begin to trust and count on themselves. That is why you must instruct and encourage everyone to become their own bosses. If you can get people around you to think that way, they will use less of your own time. The time you invest to get them self-propelled, you will get back many times.

    2. Question things
    People don't always say what they think. Some don't dare and some just keep everything to themselves. A coaching leader needs to keep track of what employees are thinking about and how they can be helped to achieve things.

    3. Reconnect all the time
    What really happened? Go through and reconnect everything, from small things to large projects. Employees who feel that the boss really is involved in the game becomes more anxious and excited about what they are doing at work.

    4. Give other liability
    There is nothing better for many people than to be responsible for something. Some people languish at work because they don't feel useful and eventually they die a little inside. Making someone responsible, if only for the office supplies, can make a big difference when it comes down to commitment.

    5. Challenge employees
    Set high goals and let your employees think of how to get there. You are a good manager, but your employees also have ideas that stem from long-term experiences. Your company should make use of and benefit from those secrets. All ideas are good. If you are a person that the employees feel that they can trust with their ideas - they will approach you with them. And they will grow in the process.

    Now you have a little something to get started with!

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

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