The Top 5 Elements of a Great Leader Coach
For your team members to be at their best, it goes without saying that you as a leader need to be at your best. In addition to building strong businesses, successful leaders help employees reach their full potential.
When your team is highly engaged, happy, and feels appreciated, you are more likely to have their respect as a leader. The numbers tell the story. The firm Interact found, in a study involving 10,000 U.S. employees, that when they felt management appreciated their contributions, engagement was boosted by 60%. Employees who feel valued enjoy greater self-confidence and find it easier to handle tough situations. They even have more available headspace for creative, innovative thinking. An effective leader keeps these factors and their effects on company culture front of mind.
Leadership Style: The Great Generational Shift
A workplace transformation is occurring. Baby Boomers passing the torch to the newer generations has resulted in a major shift in leadership style. The command-and-control approach in which company leaders strategized and created processes, then turned the plans over to managers responsible for getting the work done, was the norm for decades. But such traditional management practices are no longer acceptable to Gen X, Millennial, and Gen Z groups early to midway on their career journeys. Expectations have greatly evolved, and employees today care as much about personal growth as they do about professional development. Emerging leaders and workers are applying a fresh–and one could say, more enlightened–approach, one with a strong metaphorical relationship to athletics.
Today’s employees want leaders who will guide them to reach their full potential. They also tend to enjoy being challenged. Leaders who are willing to become great coaches of their “teams” can look to the example of Bill Campbell, former Columbia University football coach who evolved to be known as the “Coach of Silicon Valley”. He has been hired by the likes of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and Sheryl Sandberg, former COO of Meta Platforms (Facebook) to help them realize their full entrepreneurial potential.
The Top 5 “Leadership As Coaching” Elements
So what gives a leader great coaching ability? It takes more than excellent communication skills. Harvard Business Review shares a breakdown of the top five elements with the acronym COACH:
-Care About Your Team: When employees feel authentic, personal connections with their leaders, they fully engage in their work and boost overall team performance. If you are used to a less warm and open management style, be willing to listen, learn, and grow along with them – use soft skills and become a relationship builder.
-Organize Your Team’s “Positions”: Learn where your team members’ strengths and desires intersect so everyone can work in their “sweet spot” where inspiration plus passion equals fulfillment. Start by directly interacting with individual employees on a regular basis and see overall employee engagement rise.
-Align Your Employees to Your Company’s Vision: When team members can connect their own values to those of the company, they will go the extra mile. Bring your company’s customer service vision to life by showing them the higher purpose of their work.
-Challenge Your Team Members Regularly: Today’s younger employees and leaders (and even those more established) want to grow and appreciate constructive, honest feedback, tracking progress via measurable goals, and frequent reviews. As a leader, expect high performance and don’t be afraid to “stretch” your team members beyond their comfort zones to bring out their best.
-Help with Problems, Celebrate Successes: Leaders are no longer hands-off executives who judge people solely by their bottom line impact–they are colleagues who help their team members work through challenges, and recognize them officially for their accomplishments. The best leaders personally engage with their employees, offering support when needed.
John R. DiJulius III, author of <The Customer Service Revolution,> is president of The DiJulius Group, a customer service consulting firm that works with companies including Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, Ritz-Carlton, Nestle, PwC, Lexus, and many more. Contact him at 216-839-1430 or email@example.com.
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