A culture of continuous growth and development is an ideal that all companies strive for. To make it a reality, you need coaches and mentors in place at all levels of the business, from the front lines all the way up to the boardroom.
Strong coaches and mentors guide their charges when and where they need it. They must be sincere and provide fair and constructive feedback so that each individual—and by extension, the entire company—can grow and succeed.
Many leaders are natural-born coaches, and possess traits that help them inspire others to reach their full potential. Such traits can be measured using job-fit assessments, so you can see which leadership candidates have knack for coaching, or how much development a leader will need in order to become a great coach. Here are four key traits to look for in your current and future leaders:
1. Sociability. Communication is key to a strong coaching relationship. Leaders who are highly social have an easier time expressing their thoughts and explaining what they need from their employees. They’re more likely to seek out conversations and feel comfortable in group settings. People who prefer to work alone may accomplish a great deal, but you want your coaches to have robust social skills and be able to quickly build rapport with others.
2. Accommodation. Leaders who are accommodating are seen as cooperative and helpful, showing concern for others’ growth and performance. While leaders who are less accommodating may be willing to disagree or take an unpopular stance for the good of the company, they tend to be competitive and motivated by personal goals. Being accommodating helps coaches focus on the greater good, and give their time to benefit others.
3. Positive view of people. Underlying the coaching competency is the belief that people are capable of growth and willing to improve themselves. Good coaches need to see the positive in people and provide positive reinforcement. Leaders who are skeptical or overly cautious tend to micromanage rather than trust their team, while leaders who are more positive can easily build trust and lay the groundwork for strong coaching relationships.
4. Multitasking. Because coaching is an ongoing effort, good coaches must be able to step into the coaching role at any moment. That often means pausing the immediate task at hand in order to support others through their development journey. Those who struggle to multitask will struggle to coach. Good coaches are those who can drive results, and at the same time, instill lessons that will serve others for the long haul.
The most meaningful way to succeed is to help other people succeed, to advance a vision or an idea or a project that is bigger than me, that’s going to affect a lot of people.”
If that’s the kind of mentality you want in your leaders, then make sure you’re hiring for and developing strong coaching behaviors. To learn more, watch our webinar: 5 Keys to Coaching in the Moment.