Leadership skills do not come naturally to most people, but almost everyone will need them at some point. Most people will inevitably be faced with situations that require them to exercise leadership skills in various aspects of their life ranging from personal to professional. As a leadership coach, it is important for you to understand the various stages of the leadership journey. Once you understand what it takes to become a leader, you will have an easier time helping others develop valuable leadership skills that will help them throughout their lives.
According to Blanchard’s Situational Leadership® II model, people who are learning a new task or skill go through four predictable phases. They start in the Enthusiastic Beginner stage then make their way through the remaining stages until they are Self-Reliant Achievers. Those who have made it to the latter level feel confident in their current roles. Due to the level of comfort and familiarity they have achieved in their current positions, they often have trouble adjusting when they take on leadership roles for the first time.
As a leadership coach, it is your job to turn Self-Reliant Achievers into confident leaders. Here are three ways you can utilize your coaching skills to help new leaders get past their initial nervousness and uncertainty until they develop the leadership skills they need to succeed.
Set Realistic Expectations
One of the most common problems new leaders run into is setting unrealistic expectations for themselves. As a coach, it is your job to reinforce the fact that developing new skills takes time and effort. Once individuals in leadership roles realize that each attempt they make is a step towards success and greater experience, they will see their professional journey in a whole new light. Leadership skills don’t just pop up overnight. They must be learned and developed before they can be mastered.
Put Knowledge Into Practice
You can’t learn a new skill unless you put your knowledge into practice. Even if you fail, you still grow and learn something new from the experience. One of the most important things a new leader can do is try over and over again until they get it right.
When placed in a new leadership role, it may feel like you are expected to know everything right from the start. However, the best leaders are those who know how to ask for and accept help from others when needed. Most people will not look down on you if you ask them for their advice or expertise. In fact, they are more likely to be flattered at the opportunity to share their knowledge with you. There is no need to try and do it all alone when you have helpful resources all around you. Collaborating with others is also a great way to enhance organization culture and improve interdepartmental cooperation.
Becoming a successful leader is a difficult process that can be painful at times. However, with perseverance and proper coaching, anyone can accomplish their goal. Great leaders become invaluable assets to their companies and communities and enjoy rich rewards for their hard work.