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How strong are your coaching skills?

The most recent SmartBrief on Leadership poll question: How strong are your coaching skills?

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How strong are your coaching skills?


SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 200,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our newsletter.

How strong are your coaching skills?

  • Extremely: I’m great at helping people find their own solutions: 17%
  • Very: I do a solid job of helping others as their coach: 54%
  • Kind of: I can provide coaching in a limited set of situations: 25%
  • Not very: I’m not comfortable or effective coaching others: 3%
  • Not at all: I really have no idea how to be an effective coach: 2%

Help them find their own answers. It’s easy to just tell people what the right answer is and how to do something. You already know the answer. Why “waste time” helping them figure it out on their own? Because it’s a more sustainable approach and helps your team members grow. That enables you to grow as well. Learn the skills of a good coach if you’re in the 30% of respondents who don’t think you do a good job of coaching. Create a good coaching environment. Build trust. Listen actively. And most important: Ask great questions.

Coaching is about helping them learn new ways to think and be able to generate their own solutions. After all, you won’t always be there to provide the answer. Wouldn’t it be nice if they could overcome challenges on their own?


Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS, which includes TITAN — the firm’s e-learning platform. Previously, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a West Point graduate and author of three leadership books: “One Piece of Paper,” “Lead Inside the Box” and “The Elegant Pitch.”