Strategies for Coaching Leaders

Sheila Fain

from LaMarsh Global – Fain

Leaders are often incredibly busy. Their role in a change project is essential, and at the same time, their calendar is often filled with essential responsibilities that extend beyond the change initiative.

For Sheila Fain, CEO of LaMarsh Global, coaching is an opportunity to “explore information and perspectives they may not otherwise reflect on.”

Change practitioners can identify risks, potential outcomes, and options. And by asking questions and actively listening, their coaching contributes to leaders making the best decision they can from the information available and what the leader knows about the organization.

“Coaching is helping them see the full perspective and the full impact of changes they are making, and then consider a wider or larger dataset when making those decisions.”

Fain suggests coaching strategies that assist the leader to identify their concerns, consider the options to mitigate or manage their concerns, and understand what information is necessary to make a decision. Strategies can include:

  • Listen to understand: Ask them what about the benefits or challenges of a change.
  • Consider the alignment between leaders: Decisions are rarely made in isolation, so ask them what they consider what other leaders think of the change.
  • Focus on willingness: Ask them if they are willing to lead a change or what it will take for them to be willing. Skills to lead a change can be developed or augmented, while only the leader can decide to be willing.

Change practitioners are often pulled into discussions or roles that extend beyond coaching or even beyond change management. Coaching is a distinct and powerful tool for change practitioners to empower leaders to fulfill their roles as decision-makers.

“As coaches, we play an important role in helping leaders understand the decisions that they’ll have to make along the way to achieve that vision.”

Coaching is a valuable skill for change practitioners, and organizations can leverage coach training to develop capable leaders. The October 27 to December 3, 2020, Change Master Advanced Certification Workshop from LaMarsh Global will include a session dedicated to coaching.  This advanced learning program and certification will prepare you to manage complex change projects, coach change practitioners, and be an effective leader. In this virtual workshop, and Cathy Liska from the Center for Coaching Certification will lead a session on coaching skills. – Register for the workshop


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