Opinion: 2017 – Will the real leaders step up please?

by Contributor31 Jan 2017
Developing a coaching culture has been shown to improve communication by 63%, team effectiveness by 68%,self esteem by 29% and performance management by 77%. Kathy McKenzie outlines one coaching model that works

It takes courage to be a leader in the complexity of the world in 2017. Sally Yates, the Attorney General for the United States of America just had to demonstrate the ultimate in courage by being willing to sacrifice her position to stand for what she believes is right.

"I am responsible for ensuring that the positions we take in court remain consistent with this institution's solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right," Ms Yates said. (ABC News January 31st 2017)

The challenge that leaders in any organisation face is how to disrupt the kind of thinking that fosters a culture of judgement and prejudice. How do we prepare our leaders to have courageous conversations and to manage their emotions as well as Sally Yates demonstrated in the face of criticism and obvious wrong?

One of the expected skills of all leaders now is the ability to coach. Coaching is now becoming a main stream approach for business. A recent whitepaper by Korn Ferry on the impact of leadership styles on organisational climate found that a coaching style enhanced a positive, engaged organisation culture by 50%. Developing a coaching culture has been shown to improve communication by 63%, team effectiveness by 68%,self esteem by 29% and performance management by 77%.

A great coaching model to teach leaders how to have conversations that create trust is the REACH Model developed by Kathy McKenzie, CEO of FIREUP Coaching in 2008 to support health professionals to have better conversations with their peers and patients. This foundational coaching conversation model is a holistic model that incorporates the evidence that research around positive psychology, emotional intelligence and neuroscience.

The REACH acronym stands for Rapport, Explore, Action, Clarify and Honour.

The REACH© Coaching Conversation Model
Rapport Building rapport is essential to get coachees engaged and in the space of trusting and opening up, prior to gaining agreement on what a successful coaching conversation topic or outcome would be.
Explore Most of the conversation is questioning and exploring the topic at deeper and deeper levels. Various tools and techniques can be applied to access the sub conscious. The key to quality answers is asking quality questions that are solution oriented and focused on possibilities not problems.
Action An effective coaching conversation leads to action steps that are stated as SMART goals which can be measured and monitored.
Clarify Clarifying the value in achieving the outcome cements the importance of realising each goal and builds the desire to make it happen.
Honour Reflecting on the value of the coaching conversation and authentically validating and honouring the coachee means they leave the session feeling good about who they are and believing they can achieve their goals.
The proof is in – it is no longer just about return on investment but return on intelligence and coaching is a great method for fostering that emotionally, socially and mentally – alas we have no control over Donald Trump so let’s focus on our own teams.

Kathy McKenzie is the CEO of Fireup