Right from past times, according to history, leaders achieved their positions by being adept and experienced in what they did. A leader was one who was expected to know it all and have solutions for different situations bugging the group. He or she is always expected to have the answers. Great leaders allayed their people's fears and doubts by applying their own seasoned brilliance and experience. However, a leader can not know it all, as that is not only humanly impossible but also unrealistic. So how do they retain the position and respect and still inspire their employees?
They do this by adjusting into the role of a coach. A coach is not expected to tell people everything they must do. In fact a coach is not expected to have all the answers. This role then frees the leaders and gives them some breathing space and respite from the suffocating responsibilities. The role of a coach involves inspiring individuals and giving them the motivation they need to see beyond themselves. It involves challenging them to go beyond their potentials and reach for heights they previously were unsure of. A coach challenges people to come up with.
There is no one exact coaching method set in stone for everyone to adopt and be guaranteed sure success. Coaching methods vary from individual to individual and each one who wants to become a coach must grow and develop his or her own style. However, even though there are different varying coaching methods, there are still some basics which all great coaches must not overlook. It is like a framework upon which varying styles and methods of coaching is built. Here are some of framework;
Great coaches begin by opening up spaces where their clients will fill. These clients are usually drawn in by small talk and pleasantries before the coach gives the client the lead. Questions like "where would you like to start? What would you like to talk about?" are starters.
This is so as not to appear presumptuous and controlling which is what the role of coaching seeks to avoid at all costs.
Remember, great coaches inspire not control their clients or employees. If you are a manager in a company seeking to establish that receptivity among your workers, it is important that you set some sort of boundary as it regards what you are prepared to talk about. Something like "let us talk about the budget some other time."
It is advisable that you do this as few times as possible so your employees do not feel like they are pushed to the wall without a space to fill. Without them being receptive to whatever you would like to talk to them about, then the whole exercise will be useless and fruitless.
After you make inquiries about what they are prepared to talk about, it is expected that you move from this stage known as "pure inquiry" to "diagnostic inquiry". The second part focuses on particularly specific aspects of the person's story as he or she attempts to fill the space. This is where you talk about their actions, their motives, their feelings and how it affects their reactions, hidden and underlying causes, then contemplated actions.
Questions like "you and James do not seem cool, what's going on?" "That's really a high aim, how do you plan to pull it off?" are torchlihhts in this area of inquiry. It would help to ask them as casually as possible so as not to raise walls against yourself when you are still trying to get in. The next step you have to take still under inquiry is known mostly as "confrontational inquiry". No, you do not get to challenge and floor the person in a confrontation, rather you try to help them find solutions by suggesting a little bit of yours. "Do you think there is something you do that James dislikes?" "I like your aim and the plan you have but what if someone in your team falls to deliver?" These questions challenge your employees to think more and come up with better solutions against upcoming challenges.
Become Familiar With Your Team And Move On
It is important that you know how far you can stretch the abilities of your team and not jump stages as you most likely will be tempted to do. You may be get tired of all the open-ended questions and decide to just go ahead and use your authority. That would defeat our purpose, wouldn't it? On the other hand, spending enough time asking open-ended question will greatly improve the team's ability to meet challenges, but then spending too much time in pure inquiry will not get the work done. This is where you develop your style.