The top 5 skills needed by the coaching leader - leadership skills
It's always good to reflect on our goals as a leader or coach. We can easily get into a habit of working on others goals or targets and miss the time to reflect on our own. Which leads us nicely into skill No 1 for the coaching leader
1. The ability to identify goals and future outcomes for self
Goal setting is a fundamental part of the coaching process. As the saying goes 'any direction other than here is no direction at all'. Establishing how you want things to be sets the direction for your action. Question how good it could be or what is that you don't do yet? Too often we justify what we do and use a lack of problems as a measure of success. Really effective goal setting does not use justification to stand still.
2. The ability to formulate strategy and action plans
Having established where you want to be, we need to recognise how to to get there. Whether working with others or on ourselves, the 'How' is as important as the 'Where'. Too often this can a vague idea without specifics and consideration of options. Using the 'If' , Then' approach can help work through potential barriers and possibilities.
3. Finding time to reflect objectively
Too often the day to day job becomes the focus with no time allocated for reflection and objective assessment against goals. How has what I have done moved me closer to my outcome? In coaching we make regular references back to how the actions have linked to the outcomes. Good leaders and managers regularly pose this question to themselves to remain focused on the core role and avoid wandering too much into the peripherals of the job.
4. Self management through priorities
It is easy for the idea that everything is urgent and important to overwhelm us. Prioritising is a commonly used term but a less commonly executed action. There will always be something that is more urgent and important than others. Even the emergency services are able to use this formula and they save lives. If they can, then we can. Coaches will often use the 'weighing up' of priorities with coachees to ensure action is targeted in the right direction.
5. Flexibility in approach
Observational research suggests that whilst most leaders claim to adapt their style, a vast majority stay with one approach. The same can be true of coaches. The style stays the same. The person we are working with changes and so will the relationship but the style may stay consistent. The flexibility to adapt the style to the situation enables us to utilise benefits from those various styles.
There are of course many more that could be considered but these would be a substantial start.