When is a Leader a Coach?

Thoughts from and about Leader/Coaches:

  • A Leader is a Coach when he helps his team to ask the right questions of themselves in the effort to find the answer to a problem.
  • leadingvscoachingA leader needs to recognize that his people already have the answers — they simply need the right question to be asked in order to identify them. A leader/coach does this.
  • A leader is a coach when he is NOT giving his opinion, NOT teaching or training based on his own thoughts and he is coaching when he IS asking a lot of open ended questions that will facilitate the thought process in those he is leading.
  • Coaching is “employee centered” as opposed to offering vision, direction, decisions, etc. which are more “organization centered.
  • A Leader is Coach when he helps his / her team to think well for themselves, even if they DON’T already have the answers. The Leader as Coach knows that by giving them time to think, letting people know they and their views matter, they will fearlessly generate new ideas.
  • Leader Coaches provide feedback for the sake of the success of those being coached. It is a different role than a professional coach because they have to weave together organizational and individual goals to maximize performance.
  • Coach leadership affects how quickly team spirit changes — if the team spirit is low a coach with good leadership skill will increase the rate of regrowth, and if the team spirit is high he/she will control and manage the level of deterioration.
  • Coach leaders have to find a balance between coaching and managing.

How can you more fully understand what it means to be a Coach Leader?

  1. Educate yourself. Read more about what other Coach Leaders are doing.
  2. Self-assess. Develop high self-awareness about your willingness to provide coaching to your staff, and how much you believe in the philosophy of coaching.
  3. Access training. Leadership 101 can get you started.

Our newly launched Leadership 101
on-demand resource provides:
  • Tips and strategies to improve your leadership skills in 12 key areas
  • Ready-made PowerPoint and handouts to train your staff in short sessions
  • Relevant next-step activities to apply your learning

See more about Leadership 101 here.

About Teresa Gilbert

Teresa Gilbert is the Founder and Owner of Pathways to Excellence, LLC, Coaching and Consulting Services, and provides services on-site as well as through On-Demand, teleconferencing, and individual and group coaching. Teresa works primarily with new supervisors and managers to help them fully develop their leadership potential.

Teresa worked in administration and management for over 25 years before creating Pathways to Excellence. She is a former Head Start director, a former Federal Monitoring Reviewer, has a Master’s Degree in Education, with a concentration in workforce development; she is a certified facilitator for Franklin Covey, True Colors, , Personality Patch and Poverty Simulation training. Teresa’s greatest passion lies in leadership training at all levels, and working to help programs and organizations become the best they can be.

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