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Coaching Leaders – Manager as Coach

I am coaching a group of leaders on “Manager as Coach” in a 6-week program. They are curious and inquisitive, making learning more fun and insightful.

In yesterday’s session, we reflected on their Active Listening homework. The learning was:

– It’s not easy to listen attentively while under time pressure.

– Being present in the conversation builds trust and safety.

– When team members feel their leader cares, they tend to be more committed.

We then started to discuss Powerful Questions. Leaders can respond with powerful questions when they listen to their team’s burning questions. Sometimes, leaders might build a dependency when giving a quick answer. How to empower instead of enabling becomes a powerful question for leaders themselves.

I led them into a deeper conversation about doing and being. When we think about “doing” listening and questioning correctly, we cannot focus on the interaction, and all of the skills we are learning won’t serve the team. These skills work well when we are being curious and present. Striking a balance between doing and being is a lesson many new coaches are learning.

Working with leaders who are eager to learn and want to be better leaders is always a pleasure. I feel a bit relieved. There is hope when leadership development still is a high priority for companies in this economically difficult time.

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