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5 Things Coaching Skills Help Leaders Do Better
By Meghan Walsh, EdD 
Contributions by Wendy Kay Domena, D.Min.  and Claire Becker, MA, PCC

We’re familiar with excellent coaches in Wisconsin. We have and will continue to celebrate the legacies of Vince Lombardi, Barry Alvarez, Kelly Sheffield, Al McGuire, Harvey Kuenn, and Keith Tozer. But, possessing and practicing exceptional coaching skills has power far beyond the sporting world. Adopting a coach approach to leading (whether it’s in business, healthcare, education, or beyond) can change everything. Here are five things coaching skills can help YOU do better:

 
  1. Coaching skills build self-awareness of how YOU lead: We all know the kind of leaders we don’t want to be. Whether we’ve experienced poor leadership firsthand, or witnessed the impact it can have on a workplace or team, we know that we try to avoid certain leadership styles at all costs. How do we ensure we’re leading and having the impact we want to have? Coaching skills can help! Improvement and growth start with self-awareness, and coaching skills are the tools that can help you self-assess and remain mindful of your leadership.
     
  2. Coaching skills help you build relationships: You can’t lead people you don’t know (at least not well) and therefore relationships are key. Because coaching requires asking questions and sharing encouragement, it is only natural that coaching skills and a coaching style of leadership leads to deeper relationships.
     
  3. Coaching skills empower: Leaders can’t do everything by themselves, and a self-aware leader doesn’t try! In order to get the best and most work done, leaders need to empower their team members. Coaching skills allow leaders to encourage, inspire, inform, and equip teams for success.
     
  4. Coaching skills facilitate learning and reflection: The coach approach is not a sage on the stage approach. In a real coaching relationship, the coach is not the expert out front, they are the teammate by your side. Coaching skills allow you to ask better questions, suggest better resources, and provide better encouragement so those you lead continue to learn and grow, reflect, and then learn and grow some more!
     
  5. Coaching skills help everyone get unstuck: Everyone has goals, and every workplace is striving toward commons goals, but roadblocks inevitably pop-up. Coaching skills allow leaders to empower their team to look for alternate routes, to problem solve, to reflect, assess, and then move forward.

Coaching skills have the potential to unlock immense personal and professional growth on all kinds of teams, and that is why Alverno College has partnered with expert coaches to create Coaching for Excellence – a certificate and digital badge program designed for leaders (or aspiring leaders) who want to empower those around them to do and be their best. The course is designed to develop the leadership dispositions and competencies needed to transform impact through coaching. Participants in this program will start by understanding the “Coach Approach” so they can apply it to coaching teams, and coaching leadership. Now enrolling for fall 2023!

 
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