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Bret Simmons

Excellent, Steve. LOVE your point #1. Keep up the good work.

Mary Jo Asmus

Steve,

Thanks for being an advocate for this style! I teach coaching skills for managers and also work with many (most?) of my clients to develop these skills as they can be quite powerful in the workplace and in communities.

Your points are really perfect! When I teach the class, I tell attendees if they take nothing else back from the class, listening and asking great open-ended questions (we spend a fair amoung of time on crafting those questions because managers aren't used to asking - but they can tell quite well!) will go far; I see that these are THE most esential skills. Believing your employees can come up with their own answers, listening without judgment are "ways of being" and truly difficult in practice (as those of us who do this for a living know).

These skills and "ways of being" seem so simple in concept, but are so foreign to many organizational cultures that managers often swim upstream against strong currents to use them consistently (when appropriate). Some ongoing support is always useful in the form of a professional coach, a mentor, or a "community of practice" or learning group who might be peers or others working to develop their coaching skills..

Janna Rust

Steve,

I also thank you for being an advocate of this style. As a leadership coach, I wholeheartedly believe in both using the process of coaching and skills of a coach in leadership/management roles. I have a presentation called "Coaching: The Purposeful Partnership" that aligns these skills perfectly.

I frequently say that I wish I'd been trained as a coach BEFORE I was involved in management. Additionally, I echo both you and Mary Jo with your thoughts on listening and asking questions. I just taught a group last night about those exact two attributes. :)

Keep on writing and encouraging a coaching culture!

Steve Roesler

Brett, I appreciate the encouragement.

Steve Roesler

Mary Jo and Janna,

Well, it appears you are of very like minds so here's a single response.

Mary Jo: The "asking questions and then listening" part is what people are really seeking. Yet, let's face it: it's darned tough, especially when we were all brought up in classrooms where we got points for jumping up and yelling, "Oooh, ooh, I have the answer!" And, in a time-crunched atmosphere, it's always tempting to say "Here's the way" and then get on with things. So, practicing the "just listen" part I'm sure offers a big payoff to your clients.

Janna, here's your money line: "I wish I'd been trained as a coach BEFORE I was involved in management." Me, too.

Dan McCarthy

Steve -
Great post! I like the way you explain coaching as both an attitude and set of skills.
I've got nothing to add but do have a request: It seems the best coaches may have a toolkit of great open-ended questions. I tried searching your blog thinking you may have already written a post on this topic but couldn't find a list. Is there such a thing? Do you have a list of favorites that always seem to produce those "aha" moments, or is always situational?
BTW, nice job on the new website, and I'm looking forward to the new book.

Steve Roesler

Dan,

You've prompted the next post and I appreciate it.

We have quite a number of resources to add to the new website. Some good, proven, coaching questions are included in those. IN the meantime, I'm going to pull out a blog-sized handful that should be helpful for managers who wonder what to ask, and when.

Thanks for the kind words, Dan.

Wally Bock

Great post, Steve. I only have one quibble. I don't think that coaching is a style of management. I think it's a necessary part of all good management.

Bob Hall

Outstanding post. You make some great points.

I do agree with Wally, though. Coaching is coaching and that's a specific skill or, rather, group of skills. Some coaches are manager and leaders. Some coaches are not. For outstanding leaders and managers, coaching is an integral part of why they're so great. I don't believe any manager or leader can ever be more than average if he or she is not accomplished at and committed to coaching as a part of their job.

Wally Bock

Congratulations! This post was selected as one of the five best independent business blog posts of the week in my Three Star Leadership Midweek Review of the Business Blogs.

http://blog.threestarleadership.com/2009/09/02/9209-midweek-look-at-the-independent-business-blogs.aspx

Wally Bock

@joannalord

Hey Steve,

I'm a new reader of your blog and I am enjoying the posts very much. I especially agree with number 6:

Silence is really good. Listen with all your senses including--especially-- your intuition. Create space and silence for insights to emerge from the time to think.

I think too often managers get caught up in the chaos only to realize their creative energies are wasted managing stressful situations. As a manager I always take the time to close the door every once and a while and really think outside the box.

Thanks again for such an informative post.

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