Before each leader begins a coaching program with me, they complete a ‘Pre-Coaching Contemplation’: a series of questions designed to begin their forward momentum and give me insights into them.
One of my questions is: If you trusted me enough, as your coach, to tell me how to support you most effectively, what tips would you give me?
Responses are typically insightful and show a high level of self-awareness:
- Sometimes I need time. The work I produce is better if I am given space.
- Listen, provide feedback … ask me what I’m thinking.
- Lack of confidence is a major factor. Help me work past fear of change and inertia.
- Straight to the point; be open and honest.
- Look outside the square; maybe take more risks.
- Open, honest, logical thought processes.
- Remind me that I need to hear it, even if it’s hard to listen to.
What would happen if you asked this question of the people who report to you? How much more powerful would your leadership be if you knew how to support each of your team members in the way that brings out the best in them?
Sound like hard work? Too complex? Time consuming? Perhaps a little voice inside your head is saying: This is the way I am. They need to learn to live with it. Think again …
As a junior member of the team, your efforts are your success. As a senior leader, your team’s success is your success.
Go on, try it. Ask someone today: If you trusted me enough, as your leader, to tell me how to support you most effectively, what tips would you give me?