Inside organizations coaching has become common practice to address issues such as developing talent, ‘onboarding’ key leaders and supporting senior executives. Yet, there is clearly widespread opportunity to integrate some of the skills and competencies inherent in coaching into the roles of managers and contributors at all levels in an organization. We call this: the Coaching Mindset.
In the coaching mindset, you aren’t necessarily engaged in a highly structured, long-term coaching arrangement. But instead of being overly committed to solving everyone’s problems and to listen to everyone gripe at you, you are hosting a one-time conversation in the hall, or an ongoing conversation as part of your management of others where a coaching mindset can have a meaningful impact in the moment and over time.
The coaching mindset equates to a paradigm shift in the manager’s approach to working with teams and individuals.And while this approach is situation specific, the coaching mindset creates a framework for ongoing development collaboration, and empowerment among teams, direct reports and peers. And most importantly, it goes beyond the inherent problems of managers engaging in a structured coaching engagement with a direct report even for managers who are thoroughly prepared and who are gifted at coaching.
Often times the manager finds her/himself in the time-consuming role of mediator, problem solver, solution build, and the driver of the latest initiatives and deadlines – all roles that generally result in predictable tensions (and often disempowerment), with a short-term solution often being drawn into a long-term issue. Through the coaching mindset, the manager has another way of approaching the development of a member of his/her team. This new approach produces a sense of empowerment and encourages the employee to contribute to developing solutions and approaches to any number of issues and challenges. For the managers with a coaching mindset, team tensions become an opportunity for individual and group development as well as the chance for members to take a role in resolving friction.
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