At the beginning of my program on Leader As Coach, I ask everyone to think of a great coach in their life. We then share the name of that person who has impacted us and how they have influenced our leadership path. We focus on the behaviors and words of that coach that helped shape our leadership success. Sometimes that person is a family member, a friend, a co-worker, a boss or someone we just happen to have met along the way. It is a meaningful and helpful experience to conjure up the characteristics and traits of outstanding coaching. Inevitably, the conversation turns to whether or not that person knew what a strong impact they had on our lives and leadership careers. It reminds me that we sometimes can inspire others to “reach for the stars” and never even know it. So how do we do impact others and encourage them to follow their dreams?
- Be Approachable: If we want to have an impact on others and help them achieve more, we need to make ourselves available. Not only do we need to be welcoming, but as leaders we need to show others we care about them and are genuinely interested in sitting down to discuss their challenges and strengths. We need to make the time to share ideas and suggestions.
- Believe in the Success of Others: Of all the characteristics of great coaches, demonstrating that you have confidence in someone’s ability to succeed is most often shared. People are most encouraged when someone believes in them and their abilities. That belief can spur us on to greater accomplishments than we thought we could actually achieve.
- Provide Helpful Feedback: There isn’t anything more significant for helping others succeed than sharing feedback, both positive and negative. Without that input, many of us would go down an unnecessary path and not take the time to carefully evaluate our choices and decisions. The key with feedback is that coaches need to be clear and direct in their communication, aware how the coachee takes in information. Make sure if the coachee is visual, write things down. If they are auditory, give them undivided attention to listen carefully. If they are kinesthetic, show them your advice and have them model you.
- Create A Vision: Successful leadership begins with knowing where we want to go, based on values and passions. When coaching leaders, it is important to help them write a detailed vision statement. Ask them what they want to accomplish and what might be the critical steps to satisfy that vision. Remind them that whatever path they choose, that vision must always lead the way.
Who will say you have impacted their leadership success? Whose life have you made a difference in? What are some other ways you can coach others to be the best they can be?