Are You Coaching Your Boss To Be Your Best Ally?

The Idea In Brief

In a sense, we all have a boss. Whether it's your client, your manager or Joe at the head office, for the most part we all have to answer to someone at some point in time.

And if you've worked for "the man" any amount of time, you know that there's going to be friction at some point.

Hey, we're all human...

Here are some coaching tips to help you coach your boss in those times of need.

In a nutshell

  • By coaching your boss you're helping him or her understand how to be a better leader.
  • The underlying principle: We all have blind spots.
  • The end result: A deeper awareness of the intricate workplace relationships that govern successful companies.
  • The benefit to you: Since you're being the change there's a strong chance that you will achieve the growth you desire.

Understandably, you may be hesitant to approach your boss and openly discuss the impact he or she is having in your work.

And while you may be right, this may actually be what's getting in your way to getting what you want.

By learning how to coach your boss, he or she may actually be open to receive candid feedback, in fact he may come to appreciate it.

Taking the first step

Your boss is human. By acknowledging that you share a common purpose, you can set the stage for achieving the result you're looking for.

Research shows that effective employees:

  • Learn about their bosses: their goals, strengths and weaknesses and working manner.
  • Understand the same about themselves.
  • Use this knowledge to advance common goals.
  • Understand the importance of feedback

This "coach and be coached" approach fosters trust and makes it easier to get the job done.

We've all assumed leadership roles at some point or the other.

There's even a good chance that you've had to lead and make do even when you're not the one calling the shots.

In fact, leading without a crown is a very common situation in many modern workplaces.

Group dynamics, cross-functionality and complexity have blurred the lines enough to not being able to tell where you stand in your company.

You understand leadership is hard, it's even harder when crucial information can't be shared freely.

Coaching your boss then becomes an important tool providing needed feedback.

Different situations require you to respond differently, there's no cookie-cutter approach to coaching.

Your talent as a coach will be in your ability to distinguish your boss'

  • Attributes: what he brings to the table.
  • His attitude: how he acts as a leader.
  • His behaviors: what he actually does when leading.

Coaching your boss means doing your part in being upfront with him about these things, with honesty and respect.

You'll find that the risk taken frequently opens doors that you may not be aware of.

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