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Coaching Skills for New and Seasoned Leaders

written byErickson Coaching Internationalon 05/03/2020

Chances are, as a modern organizational leader, you are often expected to play the role of "coach" within your organization. As a business leader, you have to manage stakeholders, build your team and develop strong relationships, all while driving change. In order to lead your organization with a coach approach, you need the help of a coaching framework. With Solution-Focused Coaching, leaders learn to leverage an invaluable coaching resource for employees, from the inside out.

The Solution-Focused Coaching model is based on asking your team powerful questions and focusing on the solution design rather than issues per se. With this model, leaders learn to assess possible solutions, in the present, rather than lingering on the past mistakes and problems. By asking powerful questions, leaders coach their teams to gradually shift perspective by brainstorming for new options and solutions.

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Being a leader means developing a reliable leadership style and approach. By utilizing the Solution-Focused coaching model, leaders discover new ways of assessing and analyzing their management style, including challenging their assumptions and limiting beliefs and are thus able to get the most out of their teams.

How else leaders benefit from using a Solution-Focused coaching approach?

The old ways of doing business, which reinforced the superior-subordinate relationship dynamic, have changed in recent years. Disruptions to industry and technological advancements have made it impossible for leaders to know everything.

Instead, the role of a leader within an organization has shifted toward a coaching approach. A leader’s ability to give guidance and provide support, rather than rely on the command-control model of the past, became crucial to success. To attain this new way of leading organizations, leaders can rely on proven Solutions-Focused Coaching techniques.

Solution-Focused Coaching provides leaders with specific tools that can be used to engage with stakeholders from within an organization. With this coaching framework leaders help define and drive the work culture and advance the mission of their organization through increasing teams’ resourcefulness and determining a clear direction and actionable goals through open-ended questioning. The Solution-Focused Coaching approach helps leaders cultivate a team culture that promotes continuous learning, asking the right questions, and adapting to ongoing shifts in business.

What are the most critical coaching skills for leaders?

Coaching has become a crucial element of professional development for business leaders and can lead to significant business growth. As leaders develop their coaching skills, they begin to realize that active listening is an incredibly important skill to develop and refine over time. The skill of active listening may seem counter-intuitive since imparting knowledge is typically central to the role of a leader and manager. Today, information often flows in both directions, and leaders need to be prepared to continuously give and receive information.

Solution-Focused Coaching helps leaders to support teams through the decision-making process rather than simply giving directions. The coaching skills facilitate teams’ professional development and career growth. These critical coaching skills need to be founded on a methodology, in which the guidance toward actionable plans for solutions helps teams reach their own solutions.

Asking the right questions is the most critical coaching skill a leader can master. Through this skill, teams gain new insights and discoveries by applying systematic questioning, instead of relying on a top-down management approach. Asking the right and powerful questions is a skill leaders need to develop to help their team members reach their full potential.

How can leaders develop coaching skills?

Leaders can develop coaching skills by recognizing their strengths and weaknesses as a coach, and then learning how to implement a Solution-Focused Coaching approach to address any underlying challenges. By undergoing coach training and practicing coaching exercises in various organizational scenarios, leaders can learn how to be better coaches in their day to day activities.

By learning how to utilize powerful questioning, leaders transform their business discussions from problem-focused to solution-focused. Leaders can then support teams through the process of defining actionable goals and determining a clear direction by using the Solutions-Focused Coaching model.

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