Successful leaders care about their colleagues and teams. They learn as much as they teach, and they grow along with other people. Developing and practicing coaching skills can provide leaders with approaches that enhance their day-to-day workplace interactions to good effect. Coaching skills and approaches are useful to all participants in workplace interactions and can increase everyone’s leadership, learning and contribution.
Coaching skills can foster authenticity and compassion within a team. Effective leaders draw on their emotional intelligence to get the best out of their team. For example, through their awareness to recognise both the content of a conversation and the process of what is happening as the conversation develops. Successful leaders recognise patterns in their interactions and use them to maximise the effectiveness of their leadership. Listening is an active and purposeful action used by effective leaders to build rapport; understand team members at a deeper level; and guide conversations skilfully and precisely. The ability to create questions that unleash the potential of others is another key leadership skill through which leaders can assert their own needs without dismissing the needs of others. Coaching approaches can lead to recognition that other people have potentially unknown challenges. Effective leaders understand when difficult conversations are necessary and manage them skilfully to generate optimal outcomes for all involved.
Workplaces are ever – changing as new work patterns and conventions develop. For example, in response to the impact of the pandemic. Effective leaders respond and adapt to the complex challenges that organisations, teams and individuals face as they strive to navigate the challenges of daily working life. Understanding and developing a repertoire of coaching skills to draw on can help them to do this. Communication skills such as active listening and questioning for exploration; personal qualities such as insightful refection, empathy and being able to give and receive constructive feedback; and goal orientated and inclusive leadership approaches characterise and underpin personal, workplace and leadership coaching behaviours.