One of the biggest leadership lessons one will learn, is the distinction between coach and consultant. A consultant reveals a strategy that needs to be implemented. A coach however, asks great questions to get their team to come up with the solutions themselves....
Command and control were how our mangers used to lead. Mangers knew what needed to be done and taught others how to do it. However, what succeeded in the past no longer succeeds today. A new model, in which leaders give support and guidance rather than instructions and solutions is being adopted in the 21st century.
Consultant VS Coach
Coaching is no longer just a form of sharing what you know with somebody less experienced or less senior. It’s a way of asking questions to spark insights in the other person.
An effective 'coach' gives their employees room to learn for themselves. Learn how to problem solve in ways that unleash innovation and fresh ideas/solutions.
In contrast leaders taking a consultant approach, provide answers instead of facilitate problem solving. They tend to tackle performance problems by telling employees what to do and how to do it.
The Founder and CEO of Direct Response Media, Jonathan Rolley, now reflects on this advice, saying it taught him the skills of thinking through problems and developing solutions.
TIP: Before you go to your manager with a problem come up with 3 Possible Solutions and 1 Recommendation
Coaching inspires thinking and inspires ownership and inspires problem-solving. And like any new skill, it can be difficult at first. However, like all things it gets easier with practise.
Today’s leaders quest should be to serve. As a result, continue to learn to be better coaches in order to be better leaders.
More and more companies are investing in training their leaders as coaches. It not only cultivates environments of self-improvement, but encourages employees to think about side the box. If you want to create a high performance team bring out the coach in you… your team will thank you for it later.