The coaching leadership style involves having meaningful conversations with employees that go beyond short-term concerns and instead explore the person’s professional and private life and aspirations – including their dreams, goals, and career hopes.
By having personal conversations with employees, coaching leaders build up rapport and trust. Coaching creates an ongoing conversation that allows employees to listen to performance feedback more openly, seeing it as serving their own aspirations, not just the company’s interests.
Leaders that use a coaching style help people identify their unique strengths and weaknesses, tying them to their career aspirations. They encourage employees to establish long-term development goals, and help them draw a plan for reaching them.
These leaders are good at delegating: giving employees challenging assignments that stretch them. They also tend to tolerate short-term failure, understanding that it is part of learning and developing towards longer term goals.
It is understandable that in these high-pressure times, leaders claim that they don’t have time for coaching. However, by ignoring this style they are passing up a powerful tool.
When to use the Coaching Style
Coaching works best with employees who show initiative and want more professional development.
This style fails when the employee lacks motivation or requires excessive personal direction and feedback.
Source: “The New Leaders” – Daniel Goleman
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