You may be pretty familiar — and probably fairly comfortable — with the model of the visiting leadership coach. Sometimes it’s easier to dispense leadership advice to an audience you don’t know. So it’s no wonder these leadership pros seem so confident. But what if you’re asked to coach a subordinate or a peer within your organization? Is coaching someone you might work with daily a Quixotic task?
Actually, whether you’re a visiting coach, or a coach working in the trenches of your organization, a lot of the same rules of thumb apply. Today we’re going to discuss the Center for Creative Leadership’s six core principles for coaching someone from an office or cubicle near you:
First, when coaching a peer or a subordinate, you must create a safe, yet challenging environment. Your coachee needs to feel he or she can take risks, and it’s up to you to provide a space where risk-taking is rewarded and not risky business. Remember, if you are the coachee’s boss or manager, he may wonder if he can reveal vulnerabilities that will be used against him in other aspects of his job. So keep your attitude as open and as nonjudgmental as possible, and let the coachee know you support him, even as you test his knowledge and skills.