Safe Isn’t Safe Anymore

It used to be that playing it safe was a good strategy for keeping your job and getting ahead. Those days are pretty much gone.

The persistent pace of change means we all need to keep learning and growing, or risk becoming irrelevant. The clock speed for old skills sets and old ways of thinking timing out continues to increase. Remaining viable means cultivating the ability to learn how to learn. And keep on learning throughout one’s career. That’s where coaching-based leadership comes in.Coaching-based leaders help others step outside their comfort zones to envision possibilities beyond the status quo. Here are some coaching questions that coaching-based leaders can use to help others courageously think bigger:

• “What else do you think is possible?”

• “What would you say or do if it didn’t matter?”

• “What is the greater good?”

• “Consider a leader that you admire. What would he or she do in this situation?”

The next step is guiding people to work through how they will achieve these bolder outcomes in ways that build skills and everyday courage. Coaching-based leaders can use the following types of questions to engage people in the process of learning how to learn by taking calculated risks:

• “What is the conversation you want to have that you haven’t had yet?”

• “Who can help you with this?”

• “What is one thing you can do to move this forward?”

• “How can you share your idea so others will connect with the possibilities, and not just potential problems?”

Coaching others to learn and grow is an essential leadership and management skill in our current tumultuous environment. Managers who themselves choose to “play it safe” by not inviting and challenging others to learn and grow do their people a great disservice. They themselves may not be looking outside their own comfort zone to take in the bigger picture.

If this dynamic sounds familiar it’s time to give your leaders and managers the skills they need to learn and grow, so they can help others do the same. Consider Cylient’s Coaching in the Moment workshop as a foundational learning experience to give people the tools they need to stop playing it safe and embrace learning as a way of life.

Dianna L. Anderson, MCC
CEO, Cylient


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