Coaching is one of the most powerful tools for effective leadership. But do you know how to apply the coach approach to your day-to-day life?
“At its core, coaching is a practice that allows you to unlock the capabilities of others,” says Philomena Rego, a CCL coach. “Many of the same processes that we use in executive coaching can be used to foster conversations and improve relationships in our everyday life.”
Effective coaching begins with understanding the values and identity of the people involved as well as the relationship between them. It uses active listening, inquiry and feedback to bring together the best thinking and to co-create solutions. And coaching requires creating a vision, setting goals and being accountable. “These same elements are equally valuable in working with children and young adults, in family relationships, in any group or community effort,” explains Rego.
A few tips for taking the coach approach in your conversations and relationships:
- Pay attention to your language. What words foster collaboration? What words limit co-creative thinking?
- Let go of expertise. A coach’s job is not to be the expert and have all the answers. Stay curious and suspend judgment. Have patience.
- Listen deeply. Listening (and silence) can create empowering experiences. Learn to hear what the other person is saying, listen to your own responses, and process nonverbal cues, the environment and your intuition.
- Ask powerful questions. Open-ended or evocative questions draw out unspoken wisdom. We gain deeper understanding, consider different perspectives and explore new possibilities.
- Provide both accountability and support. Set and share goals so that others understand our commitments, support us in achieving them and let us know when we are not staying true.
CCL and Coaching the Global Village have partnered to share these and other coaching tips in a newCreative Leadership Conversations Toolkit. The toolkit includes a framework, a series of practices and a set of tools and activities that anyone can readily try at home or at work. Pat Williams of Coaching the Global Village states that these coaching techniques can help “empower communities around the world to develop sustainable solutions for pressing human and societal needs.” CCL coach TZiPi Radonsky offers that the heart of the approach is building better relationships, “The more we can help people connect across boundaries, the better the world will be!”
- Develop coaches in the social sector in developing countries
- Staff and volunteers at a homeless center to empower their clients
- Faculty to mentor students at a U.S. engineering school
- Government, business and social sector leaders in El Salvador work better in teams
Learn more about CCL’s Creative Leadership Conversations toolkit.