Positive Leadership

9 Powers of Positive Leadership - Lesson 5: Coaching for Good

March 06, 2024 Jean-Philippe Courtois
Positive Leadership
9 Powers of Positive Leadership - Lesson 5: Coaching for Good
Show Notes Transcript

Coaching isn’t about “fixing” people; it’s about bringing out the best of people and focusing on the work that matters most.

In Lesson 5 of the 9 Powers of Positive Leadership, JP shares tips and tricks from some of the world’s best coaches to help you become more of a coach-like leader.

And if you want to learn more about JP's leadership journey at Microsoft, download the award-winning London Business School case study by Herminia Ibarra and Adam Jones: https://publishing.london.edu/cases/jean-philippe-courtois-at-microsoft-global-sales-marketing-and-operations-empowering-digital-success/ 

Subscribe now to JP's free monthly newsletter "Positive Leadership and You" on LinkedIn to transform your positive impact today: https://www.linkedin.com/newsletters/positive-leadership-you-6970390170017669121/

JEAN-PHILIPPE COURTOIS: In the last lesson, we looked at some practical techniques you can use to create safe spaces for teams to take on big audacious projects. In this lesson, I will be taking that one step further, sharing tips and advice to help you be more of a coach like leader. There are a lot of myths about coaching. Let's be clear coaching is not about fixing people, but it does require you, first of all, to do some work on yourself. 


PETE CARROLL: You have to come to some realizations of what's really important to you. What makes you who you are? What are your uncompromising principles that you live by and you will not step away from and to find out, you know really what the authentic self is. 


JEAN-PHILIPPE COURTOIS: Pete Carroll is a former head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, and among the most successful American football coaches of the last 50 years. Successful coaching is hard, and it can be so easy to upset, worry, or anger the person you are coaching. Self-awareness gives you an accurate perception of your emotional state in each moment, an understanding of how you react and respond to things. It makes you a better coach. 


PETE CARROLL: What we're trying to do is help everybody find the best and give them the opportunity where they can hear what they need to hear. They can be exposed to what they need to be exposed to, to improve. And then it's our job as coaches to show the people that they are getting better. And constantly, you know, building and reminding and supporting that process. 


JEAN-PHILIPPE COURTOIS: Coaching is not something you do to others. It is done with others. And that's a very important distinction. And it can be part of everyday conversations between all sorts of people, not just leaders and their teams. 


MICHAEL BUNGAY STANIER:  When you're more coach like, what I hope for people is that you're trying to do two things. You're focused on the human and going, how are you thriving? What does it take to support you in being the best version of yourself, both in terms of your contribution to the work, but just as a human being? And also, how do we focus on the work that really matters? Because coaching isn't just about making people feel good. It's about bringing out the best of people and focusing on the work that matters most. 


JEAN-PHILIPPE COURTOIS: Michael Bungay Stanier helped me personally become more of a coach like manager and leader. In the Coaching Habit he talks about three key principles. Be lazy. Be curious. Be often. Be often. I mean, don't wait for unique moment to do your coaching. It could be a five-minute session, real time after something happened, a customer meeting or an event around a table, a dinner. Be lazy means resist the temptation to waiting with solutions when people come to you with problems. Be curious: Ask lots of questions. 
 Managers who are not confident in themselves and their teams tell people what to do. Coaches ask questions that help their people move forward and grow. 


MICHAEL BUNGAY STANIER: Sometimes that means pushing them and challenging them and saying, yeah, not quite good enough. You need to do that better. That doesn't mean that I'm not on their side. I absolutely am on their side. It means that, we all grow through a combination of stress and growth and mistakes and then release and support and learning and recuperation. 


JEAN-PHILIPPE COURTOIS: Good coaching questions give someone who's busy and competent the space in which to step back and reflect on their actions from a different perspective, or see a new solution to an old problem. 
Focus on development, over performance.  
John Garner was one of the most important and influential US public servants of the 20th century. He was also a coach and mentor to Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO of Acumen, for 15 years before he died. 


JACQUELINE NOVOGRATZ: I would say I got offed this ridiculously big job, John, should I take it? I don't know if I should take it. And he would say, Jacqueline, will this job make you more interesting as a person, or will it allow you to be more interested in the world? I’d be like, you're killing me. Can’t I ever take a job just to be more interesting? And he'd say, it's your choice. 


JEAN-PHILIPPE COURTOIS: Asking the right coaching questions means the difference between a one-way interrogation and a dynamic learning session. Choose concise, open-ended questions that prioritize what or how. Above. Why? 
 Finally, a good coach creates a culture of accountability. One way to do that is to hold accountability meetings. Let the regular. Tell the truce Monday meetings, Pete Carroll set up at the Seattle Seahawks. 


PETE CARROLL: It's a meeting to bring everything into focus and to get everybody on the same page. The coaches will all say, you know, I messed up here. I could have done this. I wish I would have thought of that, and hope that the players are comfortable and open to do the same in the meetings that follow. So, we come back around and it's just like a reassessment of what took place and then and then getting us on the same page so that we can all step together as we go forward. 


JEAN-PHILIPPE COURTOIS: Teams that have clear expectations and hold each other accountable experience higher levels of motivation, trust and collaboration. 
 Lead by example by demonstrating punctuality, preparation and ownership of your own responsibilities. 


If you want to know more about my own personal journey in becoming a coach like leader, please click on the link in the description just below. If you enjoyed this lesson, please do leave a positive comment or rating and take a moment to share it with a friend.