Launch and Lead: Make Coaching Circles Part of Your 2021 Leadership Toolkit

Author: Bobbie Shreiner

Leaders are expected to keep up and stay ahead of the way the business world is changing. They called upon to lead with energy and invent new approaches. When COVID hit, leaders went into survival mode and were reluctantly required to micro-manage due to unprecedented events and times.  

Now as the business world is “opening up”, leaders are required to pivot from managing "tactically" to leading "strategically" and at the same time implement new initiatives. This is causing them to move away from the traditional command and control style toward something entirely different. The pivot can be difficult and frankly, exhausting to many leaders as many do not always know what the new strategic behavior looks like – much less how to implement. 

We know from our coaching practice every leader is unique—and so are their leadership development needs. Are your leaders ready to address the challenges they face?  Do you have the time to coach and develop your leaders as they are being stretched and pulled in so many directions?  Are you having trouble holding your leaders accountable? Are your leaders stressed out?

Action Learning or Coaching Circles is a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to provide leadership development support for your leaders right now, when they need it. It is unfair to ask leaders to be an “on or off” light switch and pivot on demand from tactical to strategic without support and resources.

Coaching Circles is a workshop facilitated by a neutral party that gathers cross functional leaders in a room (or zoom) to address and solve for current, real business challenges each are facing. This collaborative and interactive forum provides the opportunity for leaders to learn and grow while at the same keeping the business momentum moving forward and leaders accountable.

Six outcomes you can expect by attending a Group Coaching experience:

  1. Improved Problem-Solving Skills - Adults learn best when learning is linked to issues or problems of immediate concern, hence the use of an on-demand, action learning approach to provide individualized leadership development. 
  2. Improved Critical Thinking Skills - The Coaching Circle facilitator helps them to stick to coaching, rather than stray into giving advice, which seems so helpful but is not as useful as using a coach-approach to develop independent, critical thinking.
  3. Improved Coaching Skills - Of course, team members do not always come to the action learning set with formal coaching skills so, a simple model of LISTEN, LEARN, and COACH is established and when put into practice they really learn and embrace these skills. 
  4. Improved Listening Skills – Leaders practice the art of listening and presenting their thoughts.
  5. Improved Questioning Skills - Leaders often learn to rephrase “advice disguised as a question” into a more open question which enables them to become more attuned with what is not being said.
  6. Improved Feedback Skills - Asking the right questions is important to learning and to future success on the job. Participants, in an action learning setting, learn to coach, and give feedback; skills they can utilize in their daily work.

Coaching Circles or Action Learning is not only a good way to learn; it is also a great way to build a coaching culture.  The more leaders attend a session the more are nurtured by the process and skill development occurs.  This is what makes the Coaching Circle and the action learning totally unique!

Our certified coaches and facilitators are skilled in guiding leaders in the actual sharing of their business challenges yet, more importantly, adjust, in real-time, to more of an inquiry-based focus to problem solve within a collaborative environment. We can steer leaders from a (tactical) directive approach which, sometimes limits full exploration into all levels of options. Lastly, we help leaders take this strategic learning and business “experience” immediately back to the organization with colleagues and teams.

About the author:

Bobbie Shreiner, is the President & Cofounder of Progression Partners a management consulting firm specializing in Leadership Development and resides in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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