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Coaching: A Leadership Skill that Belongs in Your Intellectual Trophy Case

Posted by CLIMB Professional Development and Training on August 14, 2018

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By Michelle Brubaker

“We’re way past big speech time” said Coach Norman Dale in the renowned 1986 sports film Hoosiers, based upon a small-town Indiana basketball team that made it to the state finals.

The coach, portrayed by actor Gene Hackman, knew that it wouldn’t be a motivational pep talk to a bunch of underdogs that led to victory. The championship would be the result of ongoing leadership bringing individuals together to achieve a common goal. 

Whether you’re a manager, supervisor or an emerging new leader, you too can achieve big wins with your employees and staff members by incorporating a coaching leadership style.

Set the Goal Posts.
At its core, coaching is a conversation that helps people develop their skills, achieve success and reach their goals. Coaching principles include strong interpersonal skills like active listening, and positive verbal and non-verbal communication.

Goal setting is a major element of the coaching model. Managers and leaders should talk about the future with their employees to learn what they want to achieve, and help them find opportunities to get there. A coach-leader will create new opportunities for employees by assigning a special project or teaching them a new skill. If an employee has interests in an area outside their skillset, a coach may even help them find a mentor.

Fitter, Happier more Productive Employees.
Business coaching has been around for years and is a well-known tool for building corporate executives. A study of Fortune 500 telecommunications companies by MatrixGlobal found executive coaching resulted in a 529 percent ROI. But coaching isn’t just for high-level business executives. Coaches who invest in building relationships with employees create long term organizational benefits too.   

It’s a fact that employees who are thriving in the workplace are happier. Did you know that happiness is linked to productivity? Forbes.com reports that happy employees are up to 20% more productive than unhappy employees. Imagine the business results that can be achieved when leaders learn how to coach their employees effectively. Coaching can be that one skill set that makes successful leaders become even more successful.

The coaches portrayed in Hollywood movies are definitely entertaining. Who didn’t love watching Tom Hanks in “A League of Their Own” coach one of the first professional all-female baseball teams, or Apollo Creed from “Rocky III” coach Rocky about getting his edge back and that eye of the tiger? In the end both achieved an emotional and climatic big win. But viewers recognize it was the result of a highly effective coach who paved the way to achieving the final victory. Legendary UCLA coach John Wooden put it best when he said, “a good coach can change a game, a great coach can change a life.”

When managers and leaders create a supportive climate in the workplace, and continue to challenge and develop their employees, they won’t need that locker-room-style pep talk before the big game. They will have already developed a strong foundation.

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Learn more how coaching can be used to develop your team and help improve organizational performance by signing up for Michelle's course at pcc.edu/community 

Topics: Leadership, Coaching, Interpersonal Communication