Leadership development: creating a coaching culture

December 9, 2015 by Wally Bock

In his post at HREOnline, Mark McGraw asks: “Are Managers Cutting It As Coaches?” Here’s a key paragraph.

“In a survey of 117 vice presidents of talent management, vice presidents and directors of HR, directors of personnel and CHROs, talent-management software provider SilkRoad found 45 percent of these respondents saying their managers lack the skills to coach and develop employees.”

Skills are important, but it’s not enough to provide them and walk away. You’ve got to define leadership development as part of the job.

Leadership development is part of the leader’s job

When I was coming up, it was common to define the leader’s challenge as “getting the job done through people.” That’s a very manipulative way of looking at things.

I was lucky to have served in the Marines before I entered the corporate world. That’s where I learned that every leader has two jobs. You must accomplish the mission. And you must care for your people. Not one or the other, both.

Coaching is part of leadership development

Creating a “coaching mindset” or a “coaching culture” starts with understanding that coaching is part of every leader’s job because leadership development is part of every leader’s job. That has practical implications.

Evaluate leaders on how well they develop other leaders

Don’t just hope for better coaching or simply exhort people to do better. When you evaluate your leaders, rate them on how well they develop other leaders. Put that evaluation right up there with making the numbers. Make it part of the criteria for deciding who gets bonuses and promotions.

Give leaders the tools they need to coach well

Coaching is a set of skills. Help your leaders learn it. Train them. Observe them. Give them feedback, and, yes, coach them.

Leaders who are good at leadership development are also good coaches

Great leaders develop other leaders. Coaching is part of their toolkit.

Wally Bock is a coach, a writer and President of Three Star Leadership.

Posted in Leadership Development

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