Dan Foster, Vice President and Principal Coach at Building Champions, shares three mistakes he made on his journey to becoming a coaching leader.
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If you missed last week’s video, watch Dan Foster’s Journey to Becoming a Coaching Leader.
Hey friends, Dan Foster here with Building Champions. You know, I recently shared my journey to becoming a coaching leader with you. But what I didn’t share were a few of the big mistakes, I made along the way.
Today I want to take some time to just share a few of these with you in hopes that you can avoid the same mistakes on your journey.
The first big mistake I made was around sharing my vision for becoming a coaching leader and building a coaching culture with my team. It’s not that I didn’t share my vision. I actually did a big meeting with a cool presentation and lots of food. The mistake I made was not following-up after that initial vision share and communicating my vision on a consistent basis with my team. You know, the vision we have for our team, our culture, our organization – they don’t get communicated by default. It happens by design. I made the mistake of thinking if I shared my vision once everyone would understand it and want to come along beside me.
As leaders though, we have to share our vision for becoming a coaching leader and building a coaching culture every single week. We have to come up with different ways of sharing key aspects of the vision that people feel like they can belong to. So as a leader share your vision with your team – a lot. Just when you think you’ve shared it way too much – share it one more time.
The other big mistake that I made was not keeping my 1:1 coaching appointments with my direct reports sacred. While I was becoming a coaching leader I still had a job that I needed to do. I was training and recruiting top talent. I had a budget that I was managing and I had to attend to the normal day-to-day operations of my business. There were times when I got so busy I decided to reschedule 1:1’s at the last minute or move them so that I could have extra time to work on my projects.
What I didn’t realize is what this was communicating to my team. I was essentially telling them that their 1:1 with me was only going to happen if it was convenient for me. So here I was asking them to be committed to the process, to come prepared with plans and action items completed, but yet I was willing to reschedule whenever I got busy. Just not cool.
So the final mistake that I want to share with you that I made in my journey to becoming a coaching leader was believing that I could be prepared for coaching sessions by reviewing my previous session notes just a few minutes before I went into that coaching session. As a coaching leader, you need to take time to review your previous session notes with your direct reports if you’re going to be talking with them the next day.
This gives you time to reflect on where your direct report is at in their development journey and formulate questions that you know will be meaningful and are going to help them to see what might be possible for them. Jumping into a coaching session with your direct reports with no prep work or only giving yourself maybe five minutes in advance is easily spotted by your direct reports. They know when you’re prepared and they know when you’re not.
So these are the three mistakes I made and I hope that you don’t.
Remember to share your vision consistently, keep your coaching sessions with your direct reports sacred, and always come prepared to help them to become the best versions of themselves. I hope learning about these mistakes helps you to avoid them. The journey to becoming a coaching leader is a marathon. It’s not a sprint.
So keep pressing forward and learn from your mistakes, extend yourself grace, and keep leading with purpose and intentionality. If we can help you, please let us know.
Thanks and have a great day.