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Fostering Business Innovation with Coaching Competencies

written byErickson Coaching Internationalon 01/04/2020

In some of our previous posts, we've covered why leaders who are also capable coaches drive better results in their organizations. By now, there is enough evidence that illustrates the value of coaching for business leaders.

In essence, leaders who understand coaching can drive innovation within their organizations, accelerating growth and outpacing competitors. Here's how you can use coaching competencies to revolutionize your business practices and succeed.

Why Those Who Lead Others Need to Know How to Coach

In recent years, a slew of research concerning effective leadership styles - specifically, why leaders who are also great coaches succeed where other leaders fail - has restructured how most organizations approach leadership functions.

For example, Google found the most significant differentiator between highly and moderately effective managers was their ability to coach employees toward success.

Coaching pioneer Sir John Whitmore defines coaching as "unlocking a person's potential to maximize their own performance." It's a definition that prominent business leadership-focused organizations like Harvard Business Review support. However, many business leaders, particularly at the management level, still lack the coaching competencies they need to succeed. A 2016 survey found that 44% of first-time managers felt unprepared for their new position, and 87% wished they had more training.

What are Coaching Competencies?

The need for leaders to become coaches has inspired organizations across the world to invest in coach training for their leaders. But what abilities, specifically, should leaders look for in a coaching program? Simply put, coaching competencies help leaders to develop and apply fundamental coaching techniques in both one-on-one and team environments.

Consider the following three key competencies that assist business leaders to coach their teams and organizations toward success:

Active Listening and Communication. 

In conversations we have with friends and family, listening makes up around half of any interaction. However, leaders often forget to listen to employees as much as they talk to them. That's a problem because employees who feel listened to by leadership are roughly 4.6 times more likely to do their best work. Leaders who increase communication with employees create more effective teams.

Conflict resolution. 

A major component of leadership revolves around conflict resolution. How well a leader can resolve conflicts within their organization sets the tone for how that organization functions. If employees feel leadership doesn't address conflicts in their workplace adequately, their performance will suffer. With the help of our experts at Erickson, leaders have seen tremendous strides in their ability to resolve conflicts effectively.


At the end of the day, coaches are working with individuals to help them achieve their full potential in the workplace. Leaders who act as coaches enable the best possible performance within their organizations, increasing employee satisfaction, performance, retention, and revenue.

Ensuring that leaders are competent in active listening, effective communication, conflict resolution, and perform well as coaches is a central focus of Erickson’s organizational coach training programs.

How Can Leaders Use Coaching Competencies to Foster Innovation?

Take a look at the most innovative companies - Tesla, Google, Amazon - and you'll find innovative leaders at the top.

Unfortunately, just because an organization has an inspiring or innovative leader, it doesn't mean employees within that organization will be high-performing or innovative themselves. Reports show that only 34% of employees are actively engaged in their work.

Interested in developing your coaching competencies? Discover our virtual online coach training for leaders

Employees who aren't engaged in their work or don't feel as though they're encouraged to perform at the highest level won't innovate. The best way to bridge the gap and encourage innovation among employees is through leaders that also act as coaches.

According to Gallup, 86% of employees find their bosses uninspiring. Typically, an employee who doesn't find their boss inspiring will not push themselves to innovate and keep motivated. Leaders who inspire their teams and employees to dive into the workday provide better business results.

Leaders who communicate effectively, resolve conflicts smoothly and perform well as coaches have the necessary tools to inspire innovation within their organizations. Leaders who possess these competencies can engage in strengths-based leadership, allowing employees to maximize their potential by focusing on tasks that leverage their skills. By understanding coaching competencies you can challenge yourself to revolutionize your business success.


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