Leadership is a much sought-after quality in the business world and one that any ambitious career person should hope to obtain. Though certain personalities are naturally suited to coaching employees, the traits necessary for a good leader can be learned and honed through training and careful practice.
Having good coaching skills and encouraging others to foster leadership traits within themselves creates a culture of self-motivated and persuasive minds, allowing for creativity and hard work on the scale of an entire company. To plant the seeds of leadership in your company, consider creating an Coaching eLearning crash course for your training program.
The ACE Model
Being a good coach for your employees comes down to three simple principles, all part of the “ACE” model of leadership: Acknowledgement, Clarification, and Encouragement.
When leading others, it’s important to see what your employees are good at, both individually and collectively. Only by knowing exactly which tools are in your arsenal can you properly assess a situation and form the proper “plan of attack,” much like how a handyman/woman should recognize when a particular screw will require the use of a Phillip’s head screwdriver or a flathead screwdriver. Suppose you had a problem with a few possible solutions. Some of those solutions will require specific skill sets which you might not have under your employ, but others will be right in the wheelhouse of the people you lead.
It also helps a lot when you publicly or privately acknowledge the skills of your individual employees. (“You really have a knack for coding, Gerald!” or “Tina, you really know your way around Articulate Storyline!”) Doing this not only gives your employees positive feedback but also gives them a greater understanding of their own skill sets, which helps them when forming their own plans of attack.
Being a parent is probably the most common form of leadership there is, and one common piece of parenting advice you might hear is consistency. A child needs to know that there are natural consequences to their actions and that their parents’ threats of grounding or loss of TV privileges are not empty ones. If every time your child threw a tantrum, you instantly caved and let them have anything they want, they would quickly learn that “throwing a fit” = “getting what I want.”
The same basic principle applies to adults, although hopefully not to such an extreme degree. If you never let your employees know what standard for success you are using and what measurable goals you have set for them, it makes it difficult for them to do their jobs. If there’s never an established rubric, everyone is left in uncertainty, which is a sure way to create underachievement and anxiety in the workplace.
Imagine you had a boss that sat cooped up in their office all day, clearly not wanting to be there and showing no interest in whether or not the company succeeds. You probably wouldn’t feel very motivated to help achieve such a person’s “vision” if such a thing exists. Now pretend you have a boss who loves what they do. They have confidence in the company’s goals and abilities, and they will do everything short of throwing a pep rally to get their employees on board with their cause. This second environment is far more conducive to success, and employees will naturally want to follow a passionate leader. Working in conjunction with clear expectations, an encouraging leader will drive process forward.