Top 5 Coaching Skills for Leaders


When I first started out as a leader, I was much more directive than I should have been.  I didn’t know another way to lead a team yet.   Now many teams and many years later, I have learned that there is a much better way to lead.  This style of leadership sets the vision for the organization, empowers the team and helps the team learn the skills they need to be successful.   Being a leader who leverages coaching skills helps to facilitate this empowerment and learning for the team.

The top 5 coaching skills that leaders should embrace are:

  1. Listening – Be an active listener.  Listen to both the verbal and non-verbal messages that are being communicated.   Put down the cell phone!  Truly focus on the conversation and be present.

  2. Questioning – Be curious.  When they ask you questions about how to handle situations, don’t give the answers to them.  Ask them open-ended questions that will help them come to their own answers.  They need to learn how to problem solve and make decisions on their own.

  3. Acknowledgment – Acknowledge what your team members are doing well and be specific.  Give them this feedback in a timely fashion.  Find opportunities to celebrate accomplishments as a group.

  4. Creating Awareness – Share observations as you see them.  Help team members see where their behavior or beliefs may be getting in the way of them being more successful.

  5. Accountability – setting goals with the team and holding them accountable to deliver them.   This doesn’t mean telling them how to deliver the goals, but just checking in to support them and ensuring that things are progressing as planned.

There are benefits to the team by having a leader that leverages these skills.   It allows them to grow, develop, be engaged, feel valued, develop confidence, make decisions and solve problems.  Developing these skills will help them grow into confident leaders who will lead their own teams someday.

There are also benefits for the leader.  Having an empowered team creates the opportunity for the leader to leverage innovative ideas from their team, gain a reputation as a people development manager and allows the ability to focus on large strategic initiatives for the organization.

Try these skills out and give yourself the opportunity to lead differently.   Have patience with yourself.  Building these skills will take time and practice.  I can tell you that in my experience it totally changed my perspective and made me a much better leader.

Having been in this position as a leader, I would love to help others develop these skills.   If you would like a complimentary session of coaching to discuss how you can develop these skills, please set up time using this link:


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