Want to Save Time? Make Coaching Your Leadership Style of Choice

Many people feel that taking a coaching approach to leadership is a nice thing to do, if they have the time, which they rarely do. I hold that leaders don’t have the time because they’re not taking a coaching approach to their day-to-day conversations.

Here are five reasons why it’s time to make “in the moment” coaching your leadership style of choice:

Save Time

That’s right, “in the moment” coaching saves time. Don’t believe me? Take a moment to consider how much time you spend during a week telling people what to do. And then telling them again and again, and… That’s a lot of wasted time. When you take a few extra minutes to coach people to learn from their day-to-day experiences, not only do they acquire new skills, more importantly, they learn how to learn. That means they won’t keep coming back to use your brain, because, through coaching, you taught them on how to use their own.

Make Change Happen

Nothing eats time like stalled out change initiatives. All those meetings to figure out why things aren’t moving forward as planned! Coaching is essential for helping people move through change with less friction. “In the moment” coaching conversations surface underlying fears and concerns in constructive ways, and they provide a vehicle for transforming people’s fears into meaningful actions. Coaching people to address current challenges builds their capabilities and confidence for dealing the more complex challenges that inevitably show up. That makes them more resilient and resourceful, and more willing and able to embrace change.

Keep Your Millennials

Have you noticed that younger workers hate to be told what to do? That’s because they were raised to ask and answer their own questions and take the initiative to put their ideas into action. They flourish when they receive “in the moment” coaching that supports their learning and growth. They leave when they feel they are constantly being told what to do, how to do it, and why they’re doing it wrong. If you want to keep your millennials, you have to adopt a coaching-based approach to leadership. Coaching the ones you have to successfully take on the challenges they crave is far much more productive and rewarding than recruiting and retraining new ones.

Get Results

Coaching is about getting results faster and more effectively. The key to consistently attaining high quality results is engaging people to confidently address challenges with ingenuity and resilience. That’s what coaching delivers. “In the moment” coaching conversations provide platforms for exploring new ways of thinking and working without igniting the defensive reactions that inevitably occur when people are told what to do and how to do it.

It’s Contagious

Imagine how much faster everything would move if all of the people you interact with took a coaching approach to their work. Instead of arguing about who’s right and who’s accountable, you’d be building shared insights to get to the heart of tough issues. When you take a coaching approach to leadership others pick up on it and begin to use similar approaches because they work, and they create engagement, rather than friction. Attract others to coaching by showing them how it’s done.

All of these benefits get deeper and richer as you come more skilled at coaching based leadership. Remember that it takes time to learn a new skill so you will have to make some investment in the beginning in order to reap the time-savings outlined here. And time-savings is just one of the benefits of embracing coaching as your leadership style of choice. Others include higher levels of engagement, increased ability to collaborate, more innovation…and so much more.

You can’t work any harder. Perhaps it’s time to work differently. Perhaps it’s time to make “in the moment” coaching your preferred leadership style.

Dianna Anderson, MCC
CEO, Cylient

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