At the heart of every great coach is a strong conviction that each leader is uniquely valuable with gifts and potential for greatness. A great coach believes that leadership can be improved and can be developed in a rewarding way.
Manuel Navarro was my first coach. He was our evening operations manager at Hilton Galleria Dallas. He took me under his wings at my second hotel job in Dallas in the late 1990s. I felt like he was my second father. Someone who coached me in good times and bad times but was there unconditionally.
As I got into my first leadership role as a front office supervisor, Manuel took the time to mold, nurture and challenge me on a daily basis to become the best leader I can be. My front office team needed a positive leader to sustain customer service excellence at a very competitive market. We worked together on the same shift as partners.
Manuel was very seasoned hotelier on the front office guest operations side and the food & beverage outlets. But he really loved grooming the front office guys to become the next generations of leaders.
His approach to developing upcoming leaders was to create a relationships where we not only focused on each other strengths, but challenging our leadership to become better at what we do. His philosophy was always, “How can we become better leaders today than we did yesterday?” In other words, how can stretch our abilities to lead and develop from our victories and opportunities from yesterday? Ultimately the entire team will benefit.
Great coaches add value to leaders. Great coaches believe that their coaching is a calling and not looking to change someone. They have a deep desire to elevate people to new heights and take them to places they never been.
Leadership expert Richard Boyatzis asked people who had been the most valuable person to them in their careers-He found that 80% of the people valued people who helped them extend their dreams and reach positive experiences in their lives. The people who highlighted people’s faults and made others feel inferior were not valued.
So how can great coaches add value to other leaders? What are some of the key factors that can elevate leaders to the next level?
Begin with a relationship and rapport– Relationships are at the heart of any positive leadership. Grooming and developing people is not an event or a program. Coaching for leadership is the influence we have with the person we are coaching. If we don’t take the time to get to know the person and their aspirations, we are not connecting enough. We have to create a safe space for them to feel inspired and heard.
Bring out the best in people and let them lead-To bring out the best in every leader, you must first believe that greatness is within them and that they are capable of doing much better. Great coaches understand they are more of a facilitators of positive change. They help other leaders to discover through a self-awareness without providing the answers. People are capable of making decisions learn from them through trial and error, but the coach can provided a sound board to the thinking process.
Leadership expert Ken Blanchard advised, “Empowerment is the process of unleashing the power in people—their knowledge, experience, and motivation—and focusing that power to achieve positive results.”
They help leaders set the bar higher-If you want to grow and develop leaders, you are going to have to set higher standards of performance. You are not setting people up to fail here. You are simply helping people to get out of their comfort zones. Leadership is tested in challenging times and through the unknowns. When people are not challenged and set higher goals, they simply get stuck and remain stagnant. Your role as coach is to nudge them to elevate their “game’ into a higher level of performance to complete as a leader.
What are some of your suggestions on adding value from a coaching perspective to leaders?