In 2000, Daniel Goleman, a psychologist suggested there are 6 essential leadership styles, and coaching is one of them. He shared “…it will have a markedly positive impact on performance, culture and the bottom line”. My belief is your #1 job is to develop your leaders.

Just finished reading The Coaching Habit: The Seven Essential Questions by Michael Bungay Stanier…my notes and key take-aways follow. Easy read over a weekend with a solid structure and format to improve our coaching and listening skills. Order the paperback book on Amazon Prime and you will have it in 3 days. Mark it up and have fun taking a deeper dive into purposeful coaching your direct reports and your rising stars.

It starts with knowing if you are coaching your direct report:

  • On team of individual performance
    • Fixing a problem
    • Problem solving
    • Addressing a challenge
  • Or for developmental value
    • Personal growth
    • Change agent
    • Rising star

The 7 steps starts out with you asking the question at your next direct report 1-2-1:

  1. What’s on your mind? The direction may head in one of 3 areas.
    1. Project – current tasks, deadlines, challenges in delivering on time
    2. People – any issues with employees, departments, bosses, customers, clients not “being their word”
    3. Patterns – discussion around your direct report “getting in their way” or “not showing up” around behaviors and making changes
  2. Keep him or her talking with…and other early on questions like…What else? What might be possible?
    1. Should we do this or that?
    2. Ask at least 3 times
    3. End with is there anything else?
  3. What’s the real challenge here for you? The key word is “you”
    1. Not we or us
    2. Getting your direct report to own what needs to be done
    3. Softer approach by you might be – To help better understand or just so I know…
  4. What vs. Why – try not using why…say What do you really want? or
    1. What made you chose this course of action?
    2. What were you hoping for here?
    3. What’s important for you here?
  5. How can I help? This is when you add yourself to the mix.
    1. What do you want from me?
    2. Another softer approach might be … out of curiosity… or to make sure that I am clear…
  6. Getting a yes or no
    1. A yes is nothing without the No that gives it boundaries and form
    2. What you now need to say to make the Yes happen
    3. Stay curious and make your yes’s slowly – there’ always a give and take in who will do what
    4. Strategic questions
      1. What is our winning aspiration?
      2. Where will we play?
  • What capabilities must be in place?
  1. What management systems are required?

Acknowledge the answers you get

  1. Bring encouragement: as little as… I like it, or yes, that’s good
  1. The learning process – What was most useful for you? Have your direct report recap, verbalize the process you just went through.
    1. You will minimize retention loss by having direct report summarizing
    2. Other way to close the one-to-one
      1. What was the key insight?
      2. What did you learn?
  • What do you want to remember?
  1. What’s important to capture?

This makes it personal, gives you feedback, it’s learning not to be judgmental. Practice makes us all better, so make a copy, place in your one-to-one folder and make a difference in how you coach your people.

Since 2006, I have been facilitating business owner and direct report peer groups by providing personal coaching to assist Austin business executives in making better decisions and becoming better leaders. Together and with the members being vulnerable at our monthly meetings we are creating a better balance between business commitments, personal relationships and their spiritual walk. I am here to serve you.