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How to be a good leadership coach

There are a couple of reasons why leaders need to learn how to coach. 

 The first reason is research-based

According to a recent Deloitte article, “Organisations with senior leaders who coach effectively and frequently, improve their business results by 21% as compared to those who never coach.”

The second reason is more tactical.

Coaching is the skill that will help you develop a high-performing team. After all, coaching allows you to develop and empower your people collaboratively.

To be an effective coach, you need to implement two types of coaching: formal and informal.

Here are the differences:

Formal v. Informal Coaching

My client Matt recently asked me, “Vanessa, how do I know how often I should book a formal coaching meeting with each person on my team?”

I told Matt that it depends. 

To determine how often you coach in a formal way, you need to consider:

Length of time in their role and/or your organization: The newer they are, the more often you need to meet. Use your good judgment on the number of meetings you have depending on their specific needs. You could start meeting once a week and then move to once every two weeks as time progresses, and they begin to feel more confident.

The requirement to develop new skills: If someone on your team is learning a new skill, even if they are not new to their role, you will need to meet more often to help them develop this new skill or behavior.

The management of a performance issue: If you have someone on a performance plan, or are heading in that direction, meet often.

Check in with them and see how they are doing. Ask them how things are going and if they need your help. 

Formal coaching requires an agenda, so ensure that you plan for these meetings in advance.

In contrast, informal coaching requires no planning at all. Use this method of coaching to help your team solve day-to-day problems, issues, or concerns.

To learn more about formal and informal coaching, watch this video from the Mosaic archives. You will learn my favorite formal coaching agenda and hear a few of my favorite informal coaching questions.

What do you need to do to improve your coaching practice?

Please reach out if you are interested in one-on-one coaching to develop this skill. It’s a game-changer!

Vanessa Judelman

Vanessa Judelman is an author, coach, and sought-after leadership expert. Over the past 20 years, she has created a proven formula to develop results-oriented leaders who feel empowered and confident in their job. Vanessa is the author of Mastering Leadership: What It Takes to Lead in Today’s Fast-Paced World. Order your copy here.

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