Being an effective leader and coach doesn’t always come natural and to many it can be a nerve-racking experience. It’s one thing to take bad advice, but to give it is something entirely different. Todd Weinstein, certified coach and founder of Gavia Partners spoke during November’s Breakfast Institute providing Chamber members a step-by-step process to effective leadership coaching, which is vital for everyone from CEOs to entry-level employees.
With 20 years of experience as a business professional, leadership consultant and strategic partner, Weinstein brings a proven track record and experience across multiple industries.
Weinstein broke down effective leadership into three coaching skills (Be, Do and Create) starting out with being present, the idea of giving your full attention to the conversation or situation and eliminating distractions.
“Studies show that if there is a visual presence of an electronic device on the table or in the vicinity during a conversation, it lowers IQ by 10 to 15 points and reduces levels of empathy,” Weinstein said.
Putting the technology away and taking the necessary steps to be ready for the interaction, whether it be briefly prepping beforehand or changing the environment during the interaction, can greatly improve the overall outcome. Weinstein also highlights that a small percentage of our communication is in our words and rather our tone, appearance and gestures communicate much more.
Moving into doing, Weinstein stated having a conversation with someone that sparks curiosity is best. Asking open-ended questions that yield an open dialogue rather than simple answers is an effective tool to learn about obstacles they face. Additionally, adding emotion to the question allows for further insight and more investment during the interaction. Weinstein also pointed out that many times we are the biggest obstacle because we tend to assume what others mean.
“Our brains are meaning-making machines,” Weinstein said. “We are always listening to what others are telling us and attributing meaning to what they are saying, even if it is not always accurate.”
Weinstein explained that often we listen with the intention of replying instead of fully understanding and interpreting.
“Asking open-ended questions and then stopping, rather than continuing to fill the silence, allows others to think of a response and allows you to fully listen,” he said.
As the last step, Create is all about working together towards a solution instead of telling others what to do. He says that people will be a lot more invested in the conversation and relationship if they have contributed to the process rather than being directed on exactly what to do.
“Coaching is a journey you go through with others,” said Weinstein “Ask more questions and tell people to do stuff less.”
On a final note, Weinstein mentioned that leaders need to ultimately follow through with what they say.
“Leaders put things into action,” Weinstein said “Leaders are there to bring out the best in others.”
-Written by Danny Imes, digital marketing coordinator, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.