How coaching as a leadership style boosts morale

Leadership StylesCoaching is a leadership style that develops people by offering hands-on advice to problem solving. If this style were summed up in a phrase, it would be “Try this.”

The coaching style works best when the leader wants to help staff build lasting personal and professional strengths that make them more successful overall.

It is least effective when teammates are defiant and unwilling to change or to learn, or if the leader lacks proficiency.

Estienne de Beer, author of Boosting Your Career, Tips from Top Executives, says the coaching style requires a “profound leadership mindset” and you have to believe in it — and yourself — first.

Great leaders touch the lives of their followers through coaching. “The key to consistent business success is to understand that people come before spreadsheets,” de Beer says. ” The personal growth and coaching of their employees is put on top of the priority list and soon the results on the spreadsheets will follow.”

When you hear the word coach, do you picture a sports team with someone shouting out directions or perhaps a frowning manager pacing back and forth and calling out the names of the players?

5 reasons it works

De Beer says coaching is no longer reserved for sports teams — it is now one of the key concepts in leadership and management. Why has it become so popular in the business world?

  1. Coaching levels the playing field.
  2. Coaching builds up confidence and competence.
  3. Coaching promotes individual and team excellence.
  4. Coaching develops high commitment to common goals.
  5. Coaching produces valuable leaders.

Moreover, coaching as a leadership style requires that you are physically, emotionally, and mentally fit most of the time since it involves two levels of coaching: the individual and the team. Your team members expect you to be the last one to give up or bail out in any situation, and  especially during times of crises.

While a leader must be conscious that coaching entails investing time on each individual, beware the micro-manager.

Coaching boosts morale warns that done badly, coaching looks just like micromanaging. It is best used when individuals need to build long-term capabilities, and that is when it has a highly positive impact people.

The coaching leader helps people find their own strengths and weaknesses and ties these to career aspirations and goals. They are good at delegating challenging assignments, demonstrating faith that demands justification and which leads to high levels of loyalty.

Coaching is a much more effective and emotionally intelligent style for leaders who want to build the capacity of others, boost morale and get great bottom-line business results, according to

Forward-thinking leaders know there’s a direct link between letting go of direction and control and taking a coaching approach to leadership — to motivate, inspire and create dynamic, performance-based learning cultures where individuals and teams continually improve.

Coaching strategist Antoinette Oglethorpe says coaching benefits managers because they spend less time talking about problems and why “it’s not fair” and instead use their coaching skills to get others to think for themselves and to move forward.

“There has been an observable decrease in anxiety and a noticeable positive impact on ability and action, a can-do attitude,” she says of organizations that have adopted this style. “There has been clear recognition that small steps help create progress.”

Managers report that they applied coaching skills to themselves in a form of self coaching so they too find their own solutions to problems with positive results. All of these developments have helped increase their confidence and helped them feel more in control. This led them to feel less stressed and be more efficient and effective, Oglethorpe said.

Managers can take a lesson from professional basketball coach Phil Jackson, whose teams won a record 11 NBA titles.

According to the 7 Legendary Leadership Lessons from Phil Jackson, he prepared his teams in a manner that allowed them to believe in themselves and get it done without his direct supervision. He taught his team how to play through long stretches without timeouts or his direct interaction.

He schooled his players on more than just execution; he made them great leaders and confident thinkers. Great leaders prepare teams to perform at a high-level, even in the leader’s absence.

This is the fifth in a series of articles on effective leadership styles. To see the other articles, please go to  6 Leadership Styles That Get Results.


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