You are the executive CEO of a successful owner operated enterprise in Altamonte Springs, your business generates over $500K EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes), you feel like there is potential for more and you intend to take your company to the next level? If this is you schedule a call with one of our executive coaches to estimate the ROI of executive coaching for your business.
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Has coaching become the sixth management function?
Everybody involved in management should know about the five management functions. French mining engineer Henri Fayol defined the role of a manager as consisting of five functions of management: planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating and controlling. Another theorist, Luther Gulick, chunked commanding and controlling into one function being directing and added staffing, reporting, and budgeting, also known as POSDCORB, which is still used nowadays in management. So, how does coaching and leading fit into all of this? Leadership is one of the most vital management functions completely overlooked by these theorists. For the realisation of a mission an effective leader has to provide clarity, guidance and purpose. Without it any mission is set for failure. This can be accomplished best by switching from commanding and directing to a non directive leadership style.
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Ways to implement the leadership coaching process
When Human Resources hires an external coach it is primarily focused on helping managers address specific issues and challenges. Some companies hire such external coaches to assist with further leadership development. Human Resources staff have a significant and unique chance to expand their function in coaching management. Compared to a personal development journey, any growth requires time, commitment and dedication. Even though a coaching training is always a good move, great leaders can start improving these skills today, independent from any budget restrictions or limitations.
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Why developping strategic leadership skills is important
Managers should seek ongoing training. If the leader wants his team members to engage in constant ongoing improvement of skills, then the manager is going to have to lead by example and educate him- / herself first. The manager should consider seeking out training to improve his / her leadership skills, whether it’s one class, a leadership certification program, or completing a more formal executive education or coaching program. Nowadays the manager has various options to get higher education be it through an online or a presential program or a combination of both. Getting more educated leads to better qualification and once these fresh new skills are implemented and shared with the team the effects will be noticed.
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How to improve leadership qualities
The coaching manager outperforms the directing manager because leaders can schedule a one-on-one conversation with team members to hone into their concerns and struggles. This setting enables the coaching manager work on solving those struggles and concerns without interfering with team members' progress. When a coaching manager is open to making mistakes, it also gives the subordinates to push themselves to the next level and learn the lessons from their own mistakes. It is crucial as a coaching manager to provide constructive feedback so that subordinates know how to refine what they should keep doing. It is clever to begin a critique by describing what a team member did well. When a coaching manager starts a conversation on a positive note, it opens the senses and guides the transition into constructive criticism. Each team member already has enough ups and downs in their lives without a director that adds on. Great leaders are consistent in their communication, nature and character, messaging, availability and mission. Just like advertising, an ongoing continuous, cumulative approach is highly effective at establishing and leading change and improvement.
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Which coaching skills for managers can help them transform into leaders
Improving managers' leadership coaching skills is an iterative loop, depending on the feedback which will provide the team leaders with valuable insights into areas where they can improve. Instructor feedback form serve to get valuable information from the team members, with which the leaders can develop their skills. Great leaders assist minimize the “noise” and distractions that tend to get in the way of a team member's ability to figure out what’s going on and how to react. Great leaders know how and when to ask the right question at the right time, when to give feedback, when to advise, how to get the person to focus on one thing only, and how to gain dedication and commitment. Managers can do this, but they have to let go of a few limiting beliefs and implement a few mindsets and skill sets.
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How can managers ask the right questions for appreciative inquiry
A manager on the path to becoming an effective coach for his / her employees coaching cultivates commitment to improving the organization without imposing an issue based orientation or sense of a general feeling of pessimism or despondency on employees. Instead, employees are recognized for what they already do well and encouraged to apply these strengths in such a way that facilitates performance and growth. According to Nelson et al., 2002 targets are met faster when a vision-focused, cohesive taskforce collaborates and deploys the employees' best sides, talents and strengths toward a common objective. Job satisfaction, good morale is key. According to Edmondson, 2002 the manager needs to do his / her best to get rid of fear in the workplace by assisting employees generate purpose within their role, function and responsibility inside an organization.
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True leaders deploy employee engagement to nip fear in the bud
Managers shoud do their best to destroy fear in the workplace. According to Edmondson, 2002, managers that assist team members develop purpose in their function within the team do not experience fear among their team members. When a cohesive, vision-focused taskforce collaborates and deploys team members’ strengths toward common objectives and targets, the accomplishment gets accelerated. According to Nelson et al., 2002, employees improve performance when they sense purpose, recognition, morale, significance and overall job satisfaction. Managers should practice improving effective communication skills in every interaction daily. Modeling these skills, as a manager or leader, will set the expectation for the entire organization and reduce fear within the team. According to Jonsdottir & Fridriksdottir, 2020, practicing active listening, in particular, will help communicate respect and attentiveness to team members and their needs giving no grounds to any fear to develop among the employees.
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Building individual competencies that arise from collaboration with employees
Effective leaders typically lay the foundation for achieving objectives with each member of the organization. according to Burdett, 1998, creating an environment that nurtures individual growth inspires the entire organization to show up as their best version of themselves. Managers should deploy their staff using a strengths-based approach for the further development of each team member. As a result managers and their teams can perform much better in the workplace when the employees can build rather on their strengths instead of their weaknesses.
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The superior power of ongoing job performance coaching
Coaching provides an invaluable space for personal growth and leadership development. Managers are frequently confronted with employees struggling with low confidence and low performance. The traditional approach would be to send them to a training hoping that this would solve the issue. The employee learns new methods of communication which may improve confidence and performance short-term. Very ofteh though after a while the employee falls back into his thinking patterns and as a result in isolation these trainings rarely generate a sustainable yield in confidence and performance. Although external behavior may change for a while, for changes to manifest long term they need to be incantated. The goal of performance coaching is not to make the team member feel bad, nor is it done to show off how much the manager knows. The only objective of coaching is to collaborate with the team member to solve performance issues and to enhance the results of the employee, the team, and the organization. To achieve leading change ongoing coaching has proven to be most effective.
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When using coaching as a leadership development tool
Coaching managers should perceive coaching as something broader than just the efforts of exterior coaches who are hired to help executives build their personal and professional skills. That work is important and sometimes vital, but it’s temporary and executed by outsiders. The kind of coaching managers should implement is the one that establishes a real learning organization with ongoing coaching that is executed by people inside the organization. It is an activity that all managers should participate in with all their subordinates on an ongoing basis, in such a manner that helps define the organization’s culture and its mission. An effective coaching manager as a leader asks questions instead of providing answers, supports team members instead of judging them, facilitates their growth and leadership instead of dictating what has to be done, asks for ideas from all team members on how to solve the situation instead of just relying on own attempts to solve it individually. A coaching manager with cooperative leadership style can approach any obstacle with a calm, objective and clear focus. A deeper understanding of issues and solution-focused fact finding creates the blueprints for resolutions.
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The benefits of leadership team building and coaching skills
Great leaders deploy peer-to-peer coaching. Coaching offers some of the most effective and most valuable learning in an organization. Coaching managers tend to use their regular staff meetings as a collaborative problem solving session. This builds cohesion among their team members, and inspires them to think together about how to solve urgent organizational situations and challenges. It is also a very effective and rational way for the leader to coach multiple team members in one setting simultaneously, thus maximizing efficiency.
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The fine line between situational leadership and executive coaching
Situational coaching represents the otimum zone to be in in the context of a manager as a coach. All managers should pursue to become expert at situational coaching. Situational coaching involves balancing between authoritive and cooperative leadership style depending on what the current situation requires. Managers as coaches should first focus on and become really good at non-directive coaching, until it becomes almost an instinct, and only then start to mix that newly strengthened capability with the implementation of management by objectives and directive coaching.
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How to develop strategic leadership skills
The manager's task is to assist his staff more broadly and more deeply. Sometimes it is sufficient to ask something as simple as “If you had a magic wand, what would you do?” to open up the conversation and put everyting on wide-angle. You’d be surprised how freeing many people find that question to be—and how quickly they then start thinking and generating fresh, productive ideas. Once they’ve opened up their perspective and discovered new options looking at things, the manager's job is to prompt them to deepen their thinking, perhaps by making them explore the upside, the downside, and the risks of each approach.
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The overlooked coach potential in leadership
For team leaders who are used to tackling performance issues by directing and instructing employees what to do, a coaching approach often feels too slow and time consuming. Furthermore, in their perception coaching can make them psychologically vulnerable, because it deprives them of deploying their authority approach they are so used to and very comfortable with. So they resist the implementation of coaching and don't even try it. Common excuses are “I’m too busy now,” or they will find other excuses like “This isn’t the best use of my time,” or “these employees aren’t coachable.”. According to Daniel Goleman’s study of leadership styles, leaders ranked coaching as their least-favorite leadership style, justifying it with the excuse that they simply would not have time for the slow and tedious work of coaching people and assisting them grow from within.