This article is written by Monique Mulder, one of Hello Monday Club’s Leadership coaches. In this article, Monique shares her vision on how your organizational success is depending on applying a coaching leadership style that fits empowered, flexible teams and meets the need of today’s talents.
More than ever, business life is demanding. We require a lot from ourselves and a lot from our employees. High workloads and changes are constants. In order to be successful and stay ahead of the competition, we need continuous improvement at the least.
Executing your strategies successfully can only be done when people adapt to change, which means these people change behavior. They continuously need to get better at the things they do and getting the right things done. Sticking to doing things as they have always done leads to lesser results in the future.
The gap in skillset
Almost every job requires a set of competencies that are not only broad but quite often also conflicting. We should be flexible, pro-active and innovative but also stick to processes and be compliant. Employees with the right skill set, from the start, are hard to find. There’s always a gap. If it isn’t in hard skills is certainly is in soft skills like setting priorities, influencing and collaborating.
War on Talent
Besides the demands on performance within organizations, we are also dealing with a shift in the job market. I don’t know about your country, but in the Netherlands where I am from, there is a growing scarcity for people for ICT, Finance and Technical roles. The job market works to the advantage of employees and employers are struggling to attract and retain the right people. And your best people usually are the first to leave if we don’t allow them to have an impact, searching for other opportunities.
Generation Y wants flexibility, trust, and personal growth
Then there is the generation Y, often referred to as Millennials who have entered our organizations. Millennials for whom flexibility and personal growth are more important than it was for previous generations. Social media allows them to contrast and compare what organizations do and say.
This generation will decide quickly to leave a job when they are unhappy, have poor work/life balance, feeling fenced-in, or when they are not having enough opportunities for personal growth.
Today’s generation has a higher sense of purpose, which leads to a need to see how they are contributing to the organization’s mission. Most of them are not impressed by hierarchical power. In fact, the use of any type of hierarchical power will kill the relationship of trust they initially build with their employer.
Effective Coaching for a win-win
So, it is key to support employee’s development to stay ahead of the competition and to meet the need for growth of the Millennials in your organization. Which looks like a win-win.
Coaching is a great way to support both and create a win-win situation if done effectively.
Effective coaching should primarily aim for the growth that employees are looking for, and secondly aim at the job requirements.
Coaching is not telling people what they should do, nor is it offering support only when they need it. It is not about constantly challenging them and being demanding.
Coaching is helping people to grow and to understand what the behavioral change is they need to make in order to reach objectives they have and solve the problems they face.
Coaching is about understanding employees are human beings
Coaching as Leadership style
When working with organizations and managers who want to adopt a coaching style of leadership, I define personal and professional development as discovering who you are, what your mission is, what your key strengths are, what you feel is important to you and why. It is about setting objectives, overcoming obstacles and reaching your goals.
When starting to adopt a coaching style of leadership as a manager, you will have to establish a base of trust to step into the coaching role. Your coachee needs to trust that you see them as a full person, with both professional and personal needs. Focusing on just organizational gains and/or your goals undermines trust.
Without trust from the coachee, you will get social desirable answers to your questions. Lacking the real commitment you need from them to change. Which will lead to lower levels of engagement and in time: mediocracy.
Coaching as a leadership style is not about applying some coaching model or technique.
Instead of focussing on what you think your employee needs to do differently, you will need to focus on what you, as a manager, need to do differently.
It is about building trust, walking the talk. It is about allowing your employees to also challenge you instead of ignoring or even punishing them if they do. It is about the power of the relationship instead of hierarchical power. It is about the mindset to contribute to their success first.
Should every manager be a coach nowadays?
So, should every manager also be a coach nowadays?
Yes, if you feel that developing your employees is crucial to the success of your organization. Is it all just a burden? Not what I hear from managers leading and coaching effectively. They gain energy from developing their employees and helping them to grow. Experiencing the pay off in trust, engagement, and performance, leading to results.
Monique Mulder MBA is a seasoned coach and facilitator, specializing in helping leaders to further develop their coaching-, people- and leadership skills. She has been working for over 20 years with leaders all over the world, in various industries and functions. She has an academic business background, is a Master NLP Practitioner and certified Yoga and Mindfulness instructor. Working with Monique is fun, confronting and transformational.