Have you ever walked into your workday and felt like your direct reports weren’t really doing their jobs? It’s as if the goals you were tasked to achieve that quarter went in one ear and out the other. As leaders, we want to get things done and deliver results. Much like great athletic coaches, the leader devises a game plan, drills it into the team, and holds people accountable for execution. But that’s just half of the leadership equation.

The whole equation is getting things done and delivering results by enabling others to do their best. A more appropriate image of coaching may come not from the ball field but from the classroom – those great teachers we’ve all had in grade school: they see the promise in each student, envision the oak that acorn could become, convey and uphold those high expectations, and figure out how to engage each student to grow – to figure things out on his/her own.

Bringing coaching into your organization requires the mindset of a teacher. If the talent within your business is never unleashed or remains underdeveloped, satisfaction and prosperity for those individuals and the company won’t materialize.

A study by Bersin by Deloitte revealed that businesses experienced 21% higher bottom line results among organizations whose senior leaders ‘very frequently’ make an effort to coach others. The study also revealed another important truth. Among the companies surveyed, though leaders generally were expected to coach the people who report to them, these leaders were found to lack the skills necessary to be effective coaches.

Today, the battle is won when leaders succeed in engaging the hearts and minds of workers, not merely their hands. When hearts and minds are won, the game changes. Workers are willing to go to the mat to help the company succeed–not from fear or obligation, but because the one who is leading them has ignited their own greatness.

How have you become a teaching coach in your workplace? Are you making time in your day to coach others to be their best? Let us know in the comments below!


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