“The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.” – Norman Schwarzkopf
Most of us have the tendency to rush in giving advice to other people but what is it that prevents most leaders to be ‘coach-like’ to their team?
In this post, Steve explains why by just being like a coach, great work can happen – to the person being coached, to the organization, to the leader himself and to the world.
It’s not a question of knowledge because there are tons of books and podcasts where we can learn and gain knowledge from, but if you really want to shift the way you show up to the world, you have to understand what it takes to change your behaviour and habits.
“A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could.” – Zig Ziglar
To answer the question above as to why leaders can’t or refuse to coach are that the word ‘coaching’ carries a lot of baggage for most people and they feel they don’t have time for this airy-fairy stuff.
But what they don’t realize is, being more coach-like doesn’t only help others but also themselves because it allows them to free up time to focus on big-picture and strategic issues.
There are 3 principles of coaching:
– be lazy,
– be curious, and
– be often.
And to implement the coaching principals here are six questions that actually help others grow by enabling them to become more competent, more confident, have more impact and have more autonomy.
1. What’s on your mind? – the kickstart question that lets the other person choose what he wants to talk about which helps to get into the real conversation right away
2. And what else? – this is the best coaching question in the world because it’s powerful. Usually, the first answer somebody gives you is never the only answer and it’s rarely the best answer. What it does is it deepens and adds more value from any other question and it also serves as a self-management tool for the leader to slow down the rush to action and advice-giving
3. What’s the real challenge here for you? – this is a focus question and the key here is that the first challenge that shows up is almost never the real challenge. This question digs deeper into what really needs to be figured out.
4. What do you want? – this is a foundation question. Interestingly, most people actually don’t know what they really want. If they get clear on that, so many things fall away as they get laser-focused on the things that matter.
5. How can I help? – the lazy question. It helps you calibrate how much you know and how much you don’t know. This question slows down people to rush into action and it’s a way to make sure that leaders understand them before jumping into action.
6. If you’re going to say ‘yes’ to this what must you say ‘no’ to? – this is a strategic question that makes the opportunity cost more obvious
When leaders act more coach-like it can actually make us more influential to other people and to the world. Having the answers is not the outcome that we want but it’s allowing others to find the answer.