8 Essential Coaching Skills For Leading Anyone

Sheila Madden, CEO, Madden Coaching & Consulting

Every single one of us have talents and capabilities that are completely unique and that provide us with the opportunity to contribute to the world in a distinctive way.

Just as we see with athletes, great coaching is what unlocks that extraordinary potential and catalyzes results never dreamed of previously.  It is all about seeing the potential perfection in each person and knowing exactly how to unleash it.

At the recent Conscious Capitalism Conference, Bill George, author of True North, touched on this when he said “the job of leadership is to ensure that everyone is using their strengths.”

And yet, according to Gallup, only 20% of employees, when asked in a global survey, felt that they were able to use their strengths everyday in their work. My guess is that this is because of two things. First, their leaders don’t have the skills to create  the coaching partnership to make it happen and second,  because people, without coaching help, are often unable to crystallize this on their own. The tragic result is the inability for people to fully engage with their work or to fulfill potential, individual and organizational.

Think about the untapped potential in these numbers. It is staggeringly positive. The leaders who have fine-tuned coaching skills will be able to unleash this potential and not only create tangible results for their organization but create a workplace that does something few do: match people’s strengths with their work and provide everyone the opportunity to experience deep meaning and purpose on the job while achieving common goals.

The Essential 8:

This list was originally created by the ICF (International Coach Federation) and I have added some of my own nuance to it. As you look through these, ask yourself how you could change the game for yourself as a leader and for your team members if you were able to effortlessly use these skills.

  1. Establishing Trust: Creating a safe, supportive environment.

2. Having Coaching Presence: Being fully present, spontaneous, open, flexible and confident.

3. Actively Listening: Listening until YOU disappear. Discerning the real message.

4. Asking Powerful Questions: Evoking discovery, insight, commitment and action with inquiry.

5. Communicating Directly: Being honest, clear, articulate and compassionate.

6. Creating Awareness: Evaluating and integrating multiple sources of information and using them to increase awareness and action.

7. Co-Creating Action Plans: Creating opportunities for ongoing learning and actions that will lead to successful achievement of goals.

8. Managing Progress and Accountability: Holding attention on what is important but leaving responsibility with the person to take action.

Leading Anyone Successfully

One leadership challenge we hear so much about these days is managing millennials and the multi-generational workplace. I understand that there are distinctive characteristics of each demographic but what I know to be true is that anyone can be successfully led using these skills. The reason? Because there are universal truths about being a human being that have transcended the generations.

1.  We all want to fulfill our potential

2. We all want to contribute to something greater than ourselves

The real leadership challenge is developing these coaching skills such that you can unlock all that pure potential individually and situationally.

When you do, you will experience something far greater than employee engagement. You will receive the greatest gift of all; the indescribable gratitude that only a person truly seen, heard and blessed with the experience of fulfilling their potential can give.

Sheila Madden is the CEO of Madden Coaching & Consulting where she coaches and consults with leaders of high growth companies, individuals wanting to live an extraordinary life and new college graduates who are ready to launch their careers with competence, confidence and character.

2012 Copyright Madden Coaching & Consulting. All Rights Reserved.

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