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CAPABILITY COACHING Coaching is the leadership practice

that makes the collaborative style


work. Organizations need to become
Coaching Excellence more inspiring and humane to meet the
needs of the people who populate them.
Become comfortable with emotions, feelings, and moods. Coaching is an effective way to create
greater interaction and alignment
have, theyll say: Im not sure how I between leaders and direct reports.
am performing; there is little or no
feedback, no clear sense of direction, C u l t i va t i n g E f f e c t i v e C o a c h i n g S k i l l s
so I hope that Im working on the right Effective coaches and leaders inspire
things. I feel that I am drifting along, others by emotionally connecting with
but no one is really paying attention. them. Emotions of inspiration strongly
by Jack Zenger, Joe Folkman, Over time, people who are given correlate with performance and pro-
and Kathleen Stinnett great latitude (or ignored) feel unteth- ductivity. Great leaders emotionally
ered and ungrounded. Many interpret connect with their team in many ways,

M OST COMMON IMAGES OF COACH-


ingan athletic coach watching
his players and pointing out actions
this style as benign neglect. So, if this is
your approach with high performers,
or your leadership style, consider that
strongly impacting employees feelings
of commitment and engagement.
Leaders use various ways to inspire
necessary to win the game; a wise your high performers are often the and motivate their colleagues. When
sage offering profound insight about most interested in growth and devel- people think of highly inspiring behavior,
some weighty matter; a newspaper opment; hence, treating they often focus on enthusi-
columnist dispensing advice about them with a hands-off asm. Energetic, enthusiastic
thorny problemsrun counter to approach is a risky strategy. cheerleaders are perceived
what quality business coaches do. Autocratic leadership: by most as inspiring. How-
Occasionally, a skilled business coach My way or the highway. ever, that stereotypical
may give advice or offer suggestions; This style includes highly behavior is not typical of
however, the best coaches act as a directive leaders who issue many leaders who make an
valuable mirror for people and help orders and commands and emotional connection. A
them to better assess what they are leaders whose guidance wide variety of behaviors
doing and how they are doing it. Each seems to suggest my way or work to inspire others.
coach has a leadership style, an inclination the highway. In an autocratic Emotions are the con-
toward handling situations a certain way. system, the leader has nection switch or catalytic
Most leaders dont choose their influence and control. Employees feel agent in relationships. Emotions focus
leadership style; instead, their style is that they have little influence or con- peoples attention, move them to act
defined over time and by patterns of trol, if any. Over time, such leadership and overcome inertia. Emotions and
action. When Tannenbaum and style promotes compliance rather than inspiration are two sides of the same
Schmidt first articulated three styles to commitment on the part of employees. coin. A leaders ability to inspire peo-
leadershiplaissez-faire, autocratic, and Employees stop contributing their ple comes down to the leaders will-
collaborativethey noted that the good ideas and new ways of thinking ingness and ability to both be aware of
workplaces that function best are about things, as they know that their and to comfortably use emotion. One
those where employees feel the most ideas will be shunned or overlooked. key emotion is enthusiasm. We think of
expressed control and influence. Collaborative leadership. In every enthusiasm as describing a feeling of
Coaching is one key way to increase dimension of life (marriage, parenting, excitement, anticipation, and elation
an employees feeling of control, influ- education, and politics), weve seen a about some prospect for the future.
ence, and contribution. But different remarkable shift from autocratic relation- To be more inspirational, become
leadership styles offer employees dif- ships to more collaborative interactions. more comfortable in the world of emo-
ferent levels of control and influence. Still, many leaders retain the autocratic tions, feelings, and moods. Emotions
This begs the questions: Is there a style. Why? Some have argued that the are contagious. Positive mood has a
certain leadership style that works better collaborative position requires the far-reaching effect on performance,
for coaching? To answer this, we must greatest effort and the healthiest egos. supervision, decision-making, and on
first understand each leadership style. In the collaborative style, leaders team members voluntarily acting for
Laissez-faire leadership: Who is work and partner with employees and the good of the organization.
driving the bus? The leaders who use focus on solving problems together Clearly leaders who make an emo-
laissez-faire leadership are hands off or without threats of power or need to tional connection with their people
even absent. They often have good use hierarchy to influence decisions. magnify their impact. The broader the
intentions; in fact, many leaders adopt Leaders listen and are influenced, and leaders connection repertoire, the greater
this style with high-performing (or employees are more likely to con- the impact. With practice, you can
highly technical) employees, believing tribute and feel a sense of ownership. become a more inspiring leader. LE
that high performers dont need managing. Both leaders and employees feel that
John H. Jack Zenger is author or co-author of seven books on
In this system, it would seem on the their contributions matter and that leadership and teams. Joseph Folkman, Ph.D., is a speaker, con-
surface that the employees must have they can influence both the processes sultant and or co-author of six books. Kathleen Stinnett is a
Senior Consultant with Zenger Folkman and co-designer of the
the control and influence since the and the end results. That is why the Extraordinary Coach program. Call 801-705-9375, email
leader seems to abdicate them. However, collaborative system works so well: info@zengerfolkman.com, or visit www.zengerfolkman.com.
if you ask these employees how much both leaders and employees are invest-
control or influence they feel they ed in the process and the outcomes. ACTION: Become a more inspiring leader/coach.

20 J u l y 2 0 1 0 L e a d e r s h i p E x c e l l e n c e
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