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Adopting a coaching mindset

Adopting a coaching mindset

Adopting a coaching mindset

Adopting a coaching mindset will develop, engage and empower your team and in the long run allow you to do better work.


‘Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximise their own performance. It is helping them learn rather than teaching them’
Sir John Whitmore


It can be tempting when providing feedback to your team, to take what appears to be the easiest and quickest route – just tell them. Of course, next time that person has a problem or must work something out, guess what – they will look to you to tell them what to do. What seems like an easy way forward turns out to be a quick fix that is setting you up for more time spent telling people what to do. In the long run it is disempowering and demotivating for your team members.

On the other hand, if you adopt a coaching mindset and see these situations as an opportunity to continue to show you care and believe in that person’s potential. By asking the right questions and letting them work it out themselves, you will lift confidence, empowerment and engagement AND also ensure you free up time to do more of your own important work. Ultimately this is an investment that gives a return over the longer term and starts a cultural shift. As you set the example and coach your team, they start to coach their own teams and feedback and coaching becomes the way things are done.

Michael Bungay Stanier’s book 'The Coaching Habit, Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever’.

I would recommend Michael Bungay Stanier’s book 'The Coaching Habit, Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever’. It is a weekend read and will give you the tools and motivation to start having these coaching conversations. You can also watch him give a fun talk about How to Tame Your Advice Monster, making it really clear that most of our advice is not really that good anyway!

Of course, coaching is not appropriate in all situations and is dependent on the person and their level of skill and motivation. However, I think you will be surprised at how many opportunities there are to adopt a coaching mindset and show you care and believe in your team.

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