A few years ago, I had the privilege of participating in a deep dive into what it means to be an effective coach at a leadership summit in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. It’s amazing to me that my goals for enhancing our dental community always results in the improvement of my own skill set as a leader.
I came into the summit inspired by Gregg Thompson’s newest Bluepoint Leadership book, “The Master Coach.” My favorite excerpt from the book is:
“Coaching is an act of faith in others. The master coach sees people as being full of potential. He or she makes the assumption that human beings are naturally talented, innately resourceful and able to learn and change.”
Our summit workshop leader, Jim Boneau — who served as vice president of Bluepoint Leadership before beginning his own coaching business — showed genuine empathy, compassion and authentic support, which took my inspiration and commitment to the next level.
Here are a few of my key “aha” takeaways, which I hope inspires every one of you to embrace coaching as leaders.
What would happen if you labeled the individuals who work for you as the ‘talent’ instead of the staff or team?
The word “talent” automatically implies that everyone on your team has something special and unique to contribute, and that your job as coach is to be the catalyst that facilitates your people on their path to high performance.
Leaders earn the right to coach through the quality of their character
Think about the best coaching experiences in your life. Key characteristics of the best coaches include creating safety, exhibiting patience and modeling positive behaviors with “interpersonal courage and noble intention,” according to Bluepoint Leadership.
For the team members you have deemed un-coachable, have you truly earned the right to coach them?
Coaches ask great questions
Great questions are not just to gain information, but to help talent “discover new aspects of themselves, create fresh possibilities and commit to potent action,” as Thompson wrote in “Master Coach.”
At the summit, we were given the opportunity to study and practice Blueprint Leadership’s 60 Big Coaching Questions, which broke down into three categories: discovery questions (exploration and learning), creation questions (possibilities and opportunities) and commitment questions (action and execution).
Here are a few of my favorites:
- Are you currently doing your best work?
- On what do you waste your time and energy?
- What will happen if you take your foot off the brake?
- What would need to happen for you to feel powerful and in control?
- What actions do you need to take, but have been avoiding?
- What do you need to do so that you will have no regrets?
Ask yourself these powerful questions, then get out there and coach your talent! Now, more than ever, our communities need powerful leaders as coaches – let’s do this!
Amy Morgan is Vice President of Consulting Strategy, a member of Spear Resident Faculty and former CEO of Pride Institute.