by Gerry Ryan MCC MICF - Leadership/Executive Coach
In my own management career I remember well when I first attended a training course on coaching skills and the impact it had on me. To give some context to this - I was a pretty good manager in many ways, I worked well with people, I was able to be both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’, to look for results while also being open to what the people who worked for me needed, to hold them accountable, to connect them to some sense of common purpose and how that connected with their work, goals and metrics. I was able to hold it together when things went wrong, as they often did, and to role model what I was asking from my people. The result of all of that was that people were typically motivated, were challenged, performed well and the culture contained qualities of plenty of energy, fun, trust and respect.
I’m not sure I could have articulated all this that clearly then, I was to a fair degree just doing the best I could. I had of course some understanding of what was going on as I was an active learner, reflected regularly on what was happening and what I was doing to influence it, and had participated in some management development programmes over time. Crucially, looking back now, the company I was with engaged the services of a coach/mentor whose support I constantly sought.
Which brings me back to that first coaching skills program I attended – the impact was really interesting, it was as if someone switched on the light in a room that was in semi-darkness! I could see clearly what it was that I had already been doing that was proving to be effective, I could see what was effective and why it was producing the results I was experiencing. I felt affirmed, encouraged and energized, ready to go back to work with renewed vigour.
I could see that the skills and way of being that are at the heart of coaching are also at the heart of leadership – the respect for people, the trust in them, the being open to their needs, the challenge and support of them. The ability to listen deeply, to be empathetic, to hold the purpose and goals in view no matter what is happening, to push to action, to hold accountable and to enable them to grow, develop, own and utilise their full potential. I could see I was on the way to becoming a good leader and, while I had much to learn and develop, I was already demonstrating the impact of effective leadership on the people I worked with and on the business I was responsible for.
About the Author
Gerry has a vast experience of in-depth coaching and different approaches to leadership development which has lead him to attain the title of MCC (Master Credentialed Coach) which is the top level of award accredited by the ICF (International Coach Federation). For more about Gerry click here...
Join Gerry for his 3 day Executive Coaching Programme which runs from 12th – 14th November 2015 designed to help delegates gain a working knowledge and practice of coaching. Alternatively, Gerry will also be running this programme on the 3rd – 5th February 2016. Ideal for those with some coach training and experience who want to further develop their practice and effectiveness, or it is a great introduction for those who are interested in the theory and practical application of coaching.