Effective Leadership: Wearing the Coach's Hat

Updated: Jun 7, 2021

Being a leader means tackling uncomfortable situations head-on.

As an OBM, I may be called upon to do some uncomfortable work. If I'm to lead as the business owner’s partner, I must navigate sometimes icky and always tricky situations to preserve relationships within a business -- especially as it relates to what's best for the growth of the business.

A business coach intends to focus an executive on the success of their business, while a business consultant, an OBM, delivers practical and tactical solutions to enable success.

My trusted OBM network introduced me to Michael Bungay Stanier, and I read his book “The Coaching Habit.” Stanier reviews how “coaching” is a professional therapeutic job where coaches employ specific techniques to encourage self-directed learning in their coachees.

Coaching techniques range from active listening – i.e. periodically summarizing what your team has said along with their expressed feelings and needs – to asking open-ended questions to allow business owners to elaborate and come to conclusions on their own.

Implementing coaching techniques are useful for an OBM who is hired specifically to oversee a team.

As an OBM, my goal is to first understand my client’s idea of a successful business, then delegate to get things done on their behalf. Overall, it is not about me. It's about what's best for the business.

I am not a business coach; I wear a coach’s hat to think like a coach.  The business belongs to the client, and I work to enable a smooth operation!

Take a look at these seven questions Stanier presents in order to say less, ask more, and produce positive results.

  1. What's on your mind?

  2. And what else?

  3. What's the REAL challenge here for you?

  4. What do you want?

  5. How can I help?

  6. If you're saying "Yes" to this, what are you saying "No" to?

  7. What was most useful for you?

Read more here about the nuanced difference between "coaching" and a "coaching approach" and stay tuned-in for more on how I have implemented a coaching approach with my teams.

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