Leader Bows Out of Team Coaching -The Experts Weigh In
We recently published an article entitled “Sticky Situation – Leader Bows Out of Team Coaching“ written by Victoria Trabosh, CDC, CEC; Suzi Pomerantz, MT, MCC; .and Craig Carr, BCC, PCC, CPCC.
I’ve been contacted by a leader to coach their team. When I asked if the leader will participate, they said no, it’s just for their team. What do I do?
Here’s what one of our experts, Victoria Trabosh had to say…
Leaders’ actions must reflect their words. It is possible that what you see is precisely the leader’s perspective: “I don’t need coaching; my team does.” Remembering the example of the cobbler whose children have no shoes, your work will fail if the leader isn’t willing to become engaged.
As an executive coach for 19 years, what I believed as a ‘greener’ coach I no longer think: “When the leader sees how much their team has changed, they’ll get on board!” My work has been a bust in the dozens of times I’ve worked at any level below the C-Suite without the C-Suite’s engagement.
You may need to learn that yourself, but you’re here to get some wisdom from experienced practitioners of this work we call coaching. So, I will repeat the bottom line: decline the assignment. It doesn’t work to lead the leader’s team without them participating. It is invalidating to the team and sends the wrong message.
No one has time for coaching unless it personally brings tremendous value to them. When I’ve encountered leaders who don’t need coaching, I explain to them that coaching is for people who need it and those who don’t need it.
Consider the employee’s perspective. If the leader is not present during coaching at the team level, or present but not engaged, and unwilling to grow in awareness, your impact will be short-lived and could negatively affect the team.
Coaches can be as guilty as anyone of a scarcity mindset.
Remember: There is so much need for your services in the world. Do not consider working with clients who don’t share your values. Coaching is for everyone, and when confronted with a leader who says it’s for everyone except themselves, it’s time to have a robust conversation with that leader.
The power you bring as the coach is to speak truth to power while saying no to mediocrity in your coaching practice, which will get you sustained growth and more significant opportunities. When a CEO sings your praises to their peers, you’ll receive a genuine endorsement and grow your business because they’ve received value personally from you, not through the team.
Go and have that conversation, and be prepared to talk with your feet.
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