Q: I'd like to take on the role of a leader-coach but have no experience doing this. What resources are out there to help me get started?
A: There are a lot of resources to support leaders who want help in learning how to include coaching in their leadership repertoire. One of my favourite easy reads is Leader As Coach: Strategies for Coaching & Developing Others, by David B Peterson and Mary Dee Hicks. This pamphlet does a great job discussing the coaching process, emphasizing the respective roles for the coach and the coachee.
If you learn best through listening and immersion, register for a coaching course such as those offered by Linkage.
Q: How far down the ranks does this idea of coaching leadership extend?
A: Invest your coaching to be in line with where your organization will get the greatest return. Coaching is not for everybody. Some people don't respond to coaching, particularly those who lack the motivation, either due to complacency or lack of attention to personal development. As cold as this may sound, allocate your time to individuals who have the greatest potential to impact the performance of your organization. Using these two parameters, it's possible to identify your coaching target group and invest your time accordingly.
Q: What suggestions do you have for making sure "the right learning" takes place after coaching?
A: Make sure that you help individuals identify and sequence their developmental experiences to ensure that they are presented with challenging experiences at the right time in their career. As they face these challenges, you can make sure that "the right learning" takes place by meeting with them on a regular basis to force the self-reflection necessary to extrapolate the larger meaning and implications of their experiences.
Susan Cramm is founder and president of Valuedance, an executive coaching firm in San Clemente, California. You can e-mail feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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