How Coaching Can Inspire Leadership

How Coaching Can Inspire Leadership – Part Two

As a coach who often coaches leaders, I benefit from reading the best and most current and enlightened books and articles on leadership from people who have the real-life experience to back up what they are recommending. I have benefitted from my regular brainstorming sessions with Will Keiper (the Leader in our book The Leader and The Coach), and the privilege of learning from him as a highly experienced leader and mentor.

Meditating upon the “shift” he insists leaders must make to be the most effective (and personally fulfilled) leaders they can be, I feel prompted to ask myself the question, “How does a coach best help a leader get there?”

This is Part Two of my answer to that question:

6. Help your leader save time and create collaboration in the organization by not allowing individuals to complain about other people or other departments without both parties being present to the conversation. Most leaders listen to person A throw person B under the bus (sometimes with good reason) for a long time and then talk to person B about it days later, getting a completely different side to the story. Then they bring in person A days or weeks later to report the person B explanation, and person A debates that version! It can go on for months. Time and relationships are saved by having both people in the room, or on the screen at the very beginning so the two people can sort it out collaboratively with the leader mediating the conversation. This is done by the process of converting complaints into requests.

7. Coach your leader away from having critiques and corrective feedback be personal. Your leader wants to learn to talk about systems that aren’t working, or agreements that are not holding up … not the personal shortcomings they see in another person. The leader and the low-performance person are in conversation to fix the system that’s not working, or create a new, more sustainable agreement, not blame or shame the person.

8. Encourage the leader to not be afraid to ask for help. Many if not most leaders have strong egos created by fear of not looking all-knowing and all-powerful. All leaders have that to some degree, and sometimes it’s crippling. Reaching out for help is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of wisdom. It’s also a great way of building trusting relationships.

9. Listen carefully to your client’s whole life, not just their leadership challenges at work. Self-care and work-life balance are often neglected by a leader who is addressing their fear of failure by overworking and obsessive time and attention given to the mission. The leader is no longer rested and in good health. And their personal life worries are contaminating their thinking at work. This leads to poor decision-making, and lack of creativity and vision at work. Leaders who can continuously refresh and reboot their brains and body by taking relaxing breaks end up being more positive and more effective leaders.

10. If your client has a partner and/or family at home, good leadership and creating trusting relationships in that arena apply there as well. Don’t be afraid to go there in your coaching once your client is trusting enough to talk about that freely. Time commitments, agreements and systems apply equally well to keeping your client’s personal relationships balanced and fulfilled. It’s very hard for a leader to be upbeat and effective at work when there’s ongoing trouble at home caused by the leader’s (often subconscious or unwitting) neglect.

The coach is there to help the leader bring into reality the wisdom of legendary business consultant W. Edwards Deming who said that leaders must “…preserve the power of intrinsic motivation, dignity, cooperation, curiosity, joy in learning, that their people are born with.”

The first five answers (numbers 1 – 5) are in my post, How Coaching Can Inspire Leadership – Part One here:—part-one

~Steve Chandler, co-author with Will Keiper of The Leader and The Coach–The Art of Humanity in Leadership available on Amazon.

#leadership #leadershipcoaching #businesscoach #coachingleaders #leadershipdevelopment #executivecoaching #leaderascoach


The Leader & The Coach by Steve Chandler & Will Keiper
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