Coaching is one of the most popular development programs in companies for leaders and managers. Even more compelling is the quest to build coaching cultures within organizations.

The Investment Paradox

The desired outcomes of these investments are for leaders to coach their teams for high performance.

Paradoxically, the investments returns in coaching programs are very little. They either provide leaders with executive coaches or send hordes of participants to coaching programs. Participants either face challenges applying the coaching techniques acquired in the programs or they leave the organization who paid for the executive coach.

Yet many of these coaching initiatives have high programs or coach ratings from participants.

The Discipline

Coaching is a discipline. It requires practice. The heart of this practice for leaders would be:

  • Listening to the team’s diversity of expertise.

A coaching leader is one who appreciates that people who are different can also be right. A masterful coaching leader enables team members to leverage their different strengths by learning from each other. The goal is synergy.

The Model – Being Coached

The key to unlocking this practice is for the leader to be a good role model. A coaching leader demonstrates learning agility. However, in times of stress, our natural tendency is to rely on what we know. Paradoxically, these are the most coachable moments for modeling coaching leadership.

Coaching leaders are those who extract value from their teams’ diversity of expertise during times of volatility and unchartered terrains.

The Habit – Framing Volatility as The Coaching Moment

When navigating uncertainties and changes, the discipline of becoming a coaching leader can spring from the habit of asking these questions:

  • What questions do I need to ask to get the best thinking from everyone in my team?
  • What is right about those views that differ from that which I hold?
  • How can I frame the performance challenge into an opportunity for leveraging our diversity?

Productivity, meaning, and dignity will pervade institutions, when leaders make coaching their way of life.

This could well be the antidote for investing in coaching.