A hospital leader wanted to expand the leadership capabilities of her management team. Although they were writing books about and teaching medicine, most of the team devoted little time and energy to thinking about or working on their leadership. In a time-pressured environment, a lot of the leadership looked like telling people what to do.
Was it hard to get your senior leaders to engage in learning coaching skills?
It was a little challenging at first. In a hospital, you’re asked to make decisions – often quickly – and get things done. We know that coaching isn’t the best approach in every situation, but we also see where it can have a huge impact.
What was it like for you, personally, to learn coaching skills?
Well, I thought I was already coaching people on my team. It turns out, I was mentoring them, which is also valuable, but definitely different. Like most new skills you learn, coaching felt awkward and uncomfortable in the beginning. It got better when I started to see the impact.
What did you see?
Right after the first meeting where we started learning the coaching skills, I tried some of the skills with someone on my team. It sounds dramatic, but we both felt like it was a breakthrough meeting. We got at some really challenging issues, saw some big shifts in our understanding, made some important decisions, and we both walked away feeling great about the conversation.
Effective leaders have a strong toolkit of approaches. Sometimes they give direction, sometimes they delegate, and at other times they collaborate.
Coaching is another powerful tool for the toolkit.
At The Boda Group, we are both leaders and certified coaches. We understand many of the challenges and opportunities our clients are facing, because we’ve been there. We’ve been trained and have logged thousands of hours coaching leaders. We can help leaders develop coaching skills to strengthen how they interact with teams and within the organization. We find that coaching is as useful for high-potential and newer leaders as it is for executives.
A typical Coaching as a Leadership Skill program includes four workshops, spread out over time to give leaders a chance to digest, reflect, question, practice, and deepen their skill. During the workshops, we talk about the theoretical and research-based foundation of coaching, but the focus is on practical, hands-on work and real issues. We’re not role playing imaginary situations; we’re digging into the leaders’ current challenges.