If you are a manager or a leader of teams, I have profound respect for you! You juggle multiple projects, teams, and work with all personality types to positively move towards a common goal. In the midst of it all, you also manage yourself.  With that comes managing your own productivity, mind-set, and emotions. That’s why it’s so critical to give yourself the space and time to practice good leadership skills, which help to increase your team’s efficiency, productivity, and even morale. 

practice self-reflection

Inc.com recently consolidated 33 management hacks every leader should know. As a leadership coach, one of my personal favorites is to take into account your own and others’ perceptions of you as a leader, because perceptions become reality. A good tool for practicing self-reflection is using the True Tilt Personality Profile and the Tilt 365.  These are real-time 360-degree feedback systems that lets individual managers get their own “dashboard” for the collection of perception feedback from their chosen observers. Managers could be doing things unconsciously that may be causing people to not want to interact with them or are causing their team to be uninspired. 

coach-like leaders inspire

Gallup says 86% of employees think their bosses are uninspiring. That’s a pretty significant number! Most leaders want to be more empowering and inspiring. They want employees who will work harder, innovate, and be more fulfilled with their work. They want to create trusting and open environments. In order to do this leaders must know how they are being perceived. One way is through a self-reflective tool, another is to change their management approach and become a “coach-like” leader. 

Why hack Traditional Management 

To do this you’ll first need to step out of the traditional manager mold of “telling” your employees what to do. It’s so easy to be directive and tell employees what needs to be done, how should it be done, and when should it be done by. Sound familiar? By using this approach, employees can start to feel trapped, micro-managed, and their ideas go under-appreciated. Members of these teams can begin to feel that every small detail must be approved. It creates a toxic environment where the manager has all the answers and staff members feel like they need permission from them before they begin each task. Creativity and thinking outside the box is stifled.

What Is A Coach-Like Leader?

This scenario is not an exaggeration! I’ve seen it 100’s of times before. The solution is simple, notice when you are “telling” your employees and when you are expected to have all the solutions, and start being a coach-like leader. It’s easy to get this confused with training, where a leader shows an employee how to complete a specific task. Although training is important, coaching is different; instead, the coach asks the employee to self-identify and self-direct towards what’s missing. The idea is for the employee to be the one who comes to the solution, unlocking the knowledge they didn’t know they had. When faced with a similar problem, an employee doesn’t require their coach-like manager to micromanage. This approach naturally builds trust and shows you care about their thought process. 

How To Be A Coach-Like Leader

The first skill is patience and suspending negative judgement. It is quicker in the short-term to explain a solution to an employee rather than pushing them to discover the answer themselves. But this is merely papering over the cracks. To be a successful coach-like leader, you’ve got to be patient. One week of changing your leadership approach won’t do; it has to be a full-time switch.

Next, be a great listener. According to a Salesforce survey featured in Forbes, employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to do their best work. How can you coach an employee without listening to the problem they want help solving? How will you know that they’ve come to the correct reasoning and solution if you’re not hearing what they say and taking time to digest their meaning. Don’t talk at your team. Instead, ensure you’re having a conversion with them.

Finally, let go of constructive criticism, negative judgement, and create a safe environment. Constructive criticism constructs one thing – defensiveness. Think of the great teachers you’ve had. How often were they critical? Sure, there might have been one or two who gave you low marks that inspired you to work harder, but the vast majority of great teachers were the ones that saw your potential and made sure you ran towards it.

A coach-like leader is essentially a guide. When an employee makes a minor error, don’t announce it and dress it up with “Next time could you..” Instead, sit down with them, ask open-ended questions about how they came to their decision, and guide them to the approach you’d prefer they take. You’re not highlighting the error; you’re guiding them towards the solution.

Hire A Leadership Coach

I can help you revolutionize your coaching skills, whether you’re an experienced manager or just starting out leading teams. I support individuals in reaching new growth levels, achievement, and success with the Tilt self-reflective tools, 1:1 coaching, leadership practices, and experience in a thoughtful and reflective way. Every individual is unique, and this process is highly collaborative to support your goals.

I’ve helped my clients find their next career, take their business idea to market, and have more fulfilling relationships. They’ve reached higher levels of success and satisfaction – and they’ve had the energy to master the complexities of their work and life. Are you ready to partner? Check out what I can do for you, and let’s start working together! Or, if you’d like to learn more about how I can help, please feel free to reach out for a free 20-minute introductory session!