Coaching is primarily a collaborative approach, with the aim of helping the coachee find his or her way forward. With the progression of leadership styles and employee expectations over the years, one can note a distinct alignment between coaching techniques and effective leadership. If you are leading an organisation or a team, whatever the size, the following can be ways to lead like a coach.

1. Stop trying to fix

It’s human nature to try and help, and at times, fix. Yet, if in leading your team you focus on support rather than fixing, you will be helping your team to grow. Most times it’s the team members themselves that will approach and ask you for help. When this happens, hold back from providing your solution and instead, prompt them to suggest how they would tackle it, or to explore options.

2. Ask great questions

It’s intrinsically linked to the approach listed above, but by asking powerful questions which foster effective thinking and exploring all options available, one is leading with a solution-focused approach.

3. Build on trust

Trust is key. Not much to explain here, but building a mutual relationship based on trust has many moving parts, and as a coach, its fundamental to work together to achieve results. As a leader, building this mutual relationship is key to leading effectively.

4. Practice active listening

“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” This quote is attributed to Epictetus, a Greek philosopher. It’s catchy and valid, yet it’s not just listening more than we speak that one has to explore, but genuinely listening with full attention and staying in the moment.

5. Create accountability

In coaching sessions, we create clear deliverables to generate the required sense of accountability. This is effective as it gives people ownership but also creates the right amount of pressure to achieve results. By creating the right amount and type of accountability, leaders will give ownership and greater engagement to their team and increase the chances of success.

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