Coaching within Compassion in Empathy: Informal coaching

This is Leadership: Leader reflections

This is Leadership

Groom leaders! You win the match from the bench

Within the broader discussion on compassion in empathy, is coaching. Although good companies institutionalize coaching as a platform to raise next leaders; true leaders are always in search of future successors. Leaders who understand and subsequently use compassion in the empathy conversation, are always ready to take-up junior colleagues under their wings, so they can prepare them for greater future assignments and also open them up to opportunities within institutions.

Coaching has become a popular topic these days but it has been commonly misunderstood and sometimes, misused. Organizational coaching is in two forms: informal and formal. Coaching is a crucial leadership skill required by every good and true leader in 21st century leadership. The number one objective of coaching is to improve the bench strength of a team.

Any true fan of team sports who has greater understanding of sports and competition, will tell you that you win the match from the bench. Groom leaders! As a matter of fact, the strength of the team on the field of play must be equal to the strength of the team on the bench, to accomplish team goals.

Good leaders naturally skew towards coaching as a forward-looking responsibility aimed at planting, nurturing and harvesting leaders for the institutions they belong to. Unearthing talents to unleash potentials requires great coaching skills. Coaching involves the use of all senses plus the sixth sense. Good coaches develop the positive sense of intuition originating most often from the art of compassion in empathy.

Coaching is a process. Leaders don’t stop coaching. Coaching is an integral part of leadership. Same as leadership, coaching is hard work. It involves deliberately equipping followers and apprentices with tools, tips, knowledge, techniques and consequently creating opportunities for them to develop and become better and successful, possibly unvaryingly more than the coach (Wenzel, 2000).

In effect, a coach must have the tips, tools, techniques, the know-how and more importantly the wisdom to impart, direct, guide, grow, shape and reshape energies of followers to enable them navigate through the woods on the leadership development journey. A coach must have weight and gravitas to command the required respect in his area of skill. Being a commander as a leader in the 21st century (organizational studies as far as taxonomy of power is concerned) is to have expert and referent powers as a leader on a mission with a vision.

A good coach must have substance and must know the team inside-out if not outside-in. In general terms, research has confirmed the two types of coaching. The informal type feeds well into the compassion discussion, where a leader helps a follower to change his or her behavior.

Here, the follower wouldn’t have to go through any structured approach to obtain coaching lessons, if you like. Rather, the leader sees potential of an employee and empathizes with the employee, by helping the follower to become better. Peterson and Hicks (1998), remind leaders that the best informal type of coaching generally has five great steps.

In the next episode, I will share the five great steps with beautiful practical examples with you. Developing people around you through informal coaching defines you as a true leader. Identifying and nurturing talents will give you that refreshing experience as a leader. It is similar to the role of a fitness trainer- who helps design a fitness programme tailored to a specific individual’s needs and fitness goals.

This is leadership!

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