As a leader, you coach your people to help them grow and develop. This KEY identifies a capacity that coaching schools will not teach you. Discover the capacity that propels extraordinary coaches and great leaders, and one that great parents also often possess. Enjoy finding this capacity in yourself.
As always, your comments are welcome. Please forward this KEY to friends, family and associates. Sincerely,
The Leader-Coach: What Coaching Schools Will Not Teach You
Managers participating in our Leader-Coach Programs report increasing versatility and growing impact in helping their teams create breakthroughs and deliver results. In our workshops we encourage managers to engage in an essential coaching capacity explored in this KEY.
Learning coaching techniques, frameworks and methodologies will make you a better and more versatile leader. As a leader-coach you can bring a wider range of tools to the coaching engagement. What is the essential quality you see in truly exceptional coaches? It is a gift no coaching school will teach you and no institution can give you. You have to access it inside you. What capacity are we talking about?
It is the power that propels the coaching conversation – the power of ENERGIZED CURIOSITY. Energized curiosity makes the coaching conversation rich, meaningful and impactful.
What Is Energized Curiosity?
The coaching art is in large part the art of asking questions. Great coaches ask powerful questions to promote insights and forward a chosen action. Energized curiosity, focus and conviction help the leader succeed and grow through the coaching engagement. As a leader-coach you listen and observe actively. And you bring intensity to the discovery process of the coaching dialogue.
James Watson, who co-discovered with Francis Crick the structure of DNA, was once asked: ‘Why did you become a scientist?’ Watson replied, “I was curious about life. I wanted to understand what life was” and added, “I have been successful because I am very impatient.” It’s that kind of energized curiosity you apply in coaching, where the impatience is the urgency that you hold with great patience for the people in your team to discover their next steps and turn the challenge of the moment into a new discovery and growth opportunity. The gift of curiosity we speak of is a form of deep, passionate and energized engagement with life and with your environment. Look at the learning process of a toddler and you see this type of insatiable thirst for discovery and learning. As a leader-coach you bring this intensity to help your team transform their energy to find clarity inside confusion, confidence amidst uncertainty and forward action in the face of paralysis.
Coaching requires this energized engagement and deep curiosity about many things:
- How do the people you work with meet and overcome challenges?
- How do they learn and grow?
- What about the development process itself? How does it work?
- What makes another person move? What propels them to take action?
- What brilliance and talent is locked up in a specific person? What is his or her journey to discover and express it?
The Coaching Adventure
Leadership through coaching is a generous action. You direct your energy, focus and passion to help your team be the best it can be. You explore the potential of the moment and co-create possibilities. I discovered years ago that coaching makes work a fascinating adventure as you:
- Walk in the other person’s shoes and see the world through their eyes.
- Discover what lessons this conversation will bring to you.
- Capture value and foster creative collaboration.
- Learn about the psychology of setbacks and the psychology of success and victory.
- Create options and promote process-innovation and business-model-innovation.
- Learn about science, history, business, technology, art and leadership.
- Develop new skills and capabilities and be captivated with what will happen next.
- Ask the developmental and practical questions of life.
- Seek out and realize creativity and intuition you never knew was locked inside.
- Envision and create alternative futures.
On top of those advantages, the coaching adventure helps us all:
You can reconnect with an energized curiosity inside you. It’s a natural impulse you enjoyed as a toddler, in your childhood and again at various times in your life-journey. I learn so much from the people I coach because I am very curious and have come to know that our conversation can transform us. Early in life I realized that a great many people don’t learn from the experiences of others; they are not curious enough to internalize the learning from the successes and setbacks of other people. Many insist on being original in their mistakes and victories, only to repeat what others have done. I realized this was foolish and not very efficient and decided to work at being present for learning from others in multiple situations, to not miss the opportunity it offers. Energized curiosity became a definitive aspect of my engagement with life. Coaching was a natural outcome.
- What are you curious about? What new learning did you assimilate this last month?
- As a manager, getting things done is only half your job. Coaching and helping your people grow is the other half. How will you coach your people this week? What opportunities will you create to discover the art of leading through coaching?
Now it’s your turn. Turn the Key. Discover anew what engages you fully. Flex your energized curiosity muscle. Become the leader-coach and help your people grow.
© Aviv Shahar
The Leader-Coach Program
Managers who practice the Leader-Coach strategies help their teams accelerate growth and create quantum leaps. As a leader there is no greater return on investment than developing your top talent teams and nurturing new leaders. You coach these high potentials and they help you bounce back from setbacks, come up with far-reaching ideas and produce breakthrough innovations.
In The Leader-Coach Program we practice the art of “Leading through Coaching” to help you become an effective Leader-Coach. Just as professional athletes like Lance Armstrong, Serena Williams and LeBron James need a coach to optimize their craft and excel to be the best they can be, so, too, do business leaders and the people working for them. Like the greatest athletes, successful executives understand they need a coach to realize their full capabilities and actualize and express their potential for greatness. They also understand those who work for and alongside them need to be coached.
The three premises that guide The Leader-Coach Program we teach to executives and manager groups are:
A. “To lead is to take the next step, to go where you have never gone, to open a way forward into the unknown and the uncharted.”
B. “To coach is to facilitate and help another to lead him/herself, to go where they have not yet gone, to realize their greater possibilities and potential.”
C. “As a manager you are called to do both, to lead and to coach. At times you need to lead through coaching.”
The Leader-Coach module is taught as part our Leadership and Top Talent Programs and as a standalone workshop.
Managers participating in the Leader-Coach Program practice coaching with each other to hone their coaching skills and learn to:
- Focus on strengths
- Apply the coaching toolkit
- Engage in the practices of great solution-generators
- Attract and retain exceptional talent
- Build the three Pillars of Trust
- Cultivate durable relationships and alliances
- Manage effectively the precious currencies of leadership
- Help their teams raise the performance bar
- Engender insight and forward action
- Act as a leader coach with their teams
Managers applying the Leader-Coach strategies help their talented performers break the rules and realize greatness. Call or email us to find out about a special Leader-Coach Program for your teams.
© Aviv Shahar