There is no argument that effective leadership requires a variety of competencies in the leader’s toolbelt. Some of these tools include effective communication, inspiring, directing, creating vision, strategic thinking, building relationships, adaptability, drive, execution and emotional intelligence. Coaching is a relatively new tool for the leadership toolbelt. Like all the other leadership competencies mentioned, coaching is not the only tool for leaders; however, it is an important one.
There are many misconceptions of what coaching is and even how to use it, and leaders often think they are coaching when they are not. For example, a leader meets with a team member to discuss a challenge, situation or area for improvement and basically tells the employee how to resolve the problem. He or she may tell a story of resolving a similar situation. Next, the leader encourages the team member to “get out there and make the changes.”
Does this scenario sound familiar? Although this approach may have a place in leadership (in fact, it’s more like mentoring), too often, it becomes overused. When a leadership competency is overused, it becomes a weakness.
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