Coaching is commonly viewed as a way to give feedback and help a team member improve a skill at work. While this is true for many people, it’s not the whole story. Having a coaching mindset is more than just “Coaching” someone in your team.
Uncovering the Power of Coaching Mindset is broader than just having the skills of coaching.
In my view, it starts by having a firm belief in growth, meaning that we can all improve and better ourselves through learning and practice, thus having a positive mindset about possibilities instead of restrictions, leading from inspiration rather than from authority.
Coaching leaders often see opportunities where others don’t. They are able to see new solutions through creative thinking, rather than relying on existing knowledge and/or constraints.
Leaders with a coaching mindset look beyond the surface of things, they probe deeper and are genuinely curious about what is going on, instead of following assumptions.
They are unafraid of admitting they don’t know and instead invest in asking the right questions that will elicit new, unknown answers. They ask for feedback regularly.
Let’s take a closer look at why leaders need a coaching mindset, what it looks like in practice, and how coaching can be incorporated into your leadership style for better results.
Curiosity leads to new ideas
When a leader is curious, they are open to new ideas and willing to experiment with new strategies. This type of mindset will help you see the opportunities in your current situation when others might not be able to do the same. A coaching mindset also helps leaders determine what their needs are and how they can best meet those needs.
Curiosity begets action
A leader with a coaching mindset is curious about the world around them and takes action to understand what’s happening. They ask questions like ‘why’ and ‘what if’ so they can find the root cause of an issue or puzzle out how to move forward. Leaders who practice curiosity are always trying to solve problems, making their company more efficient, profitable, and successful. This curiosity leads to taking action in ways that make sense for their business or goals. When a problem arises, there are several options for leaders to choose from. Leaders with a coaching mindset tend to use the best option for their particular situation because they have gone so deep into understanding the situation that they know what steps will help them most.
Coaching leaders ask for feedback
For example, when a leader has a feeling that something isn’t working, they are more likely to ask for feedback from others than assume that it’s fine because it has always worked in the past. They actively ask for feedback because they know that often, things need to change and evolve so that the business can continue to grow. They also know they are not perfect, that they are “work-in-progress”, and they need pointers from others to improve their leadership style.
Developing a Coaching mindset
The first step to developing a coaching mindset is to stay curious longer, hold back giving advice or solutions and actively listen to others instead of jumping to give and opinion or a solution. It sounds simple but it’s far from being easy. We are all wired to be solution-provider or problem-fixer.
Continuous self-reflection, asking for feedback, and hold back judgement and solutions giving are key to develop a long-term coaching mindset.
Emma Noguchi | Managing Diector and Co-Founder, with a passion for leadership coaching.