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Each person receives coaching from a different starting place. Each person has unique strengths and challenges. In addition, each has a different transition velocity—how fast one can transition after experiencing change.

The challenge of a leader as coach is to uncover what the unique starting place is for each person, understand their unique transition velocity, and then move each from where they are to where they can go. There is no checklist or process to move all people to the same ideal place. There are coaching checklists and techniques, but the steps and techniques will be different for each situation. Each coaching candidate and experience is different.

To orient yourself to your role as coach requires the following:

  • A coach must be able to clearly understand the role. Coaching is not therapy; and in a business setting, it's not about the person's personal life. An IT leader must learn to coach an employee's behavior toward the goals of the department (and ultimately, the business) through the employee's self-discovery as the coach mirrors the discussion.

  • Using good coaching language creates the groundwork for an effective relationship.

  • Writing meaningful goals is the first step. Coaches teach their charges how to write goals that are measurable and achievable.

  • Leveraging goals—both writing and reviewing—helps a person achieve what she wants, and also see progress along the way.

  • Assessments, such as the behavioral DISC and the attitudinal PIAV, provide a neutral view that allows a coach to help the person set growth goals consistent with their personal needs and the needs of the business.

  • Assessments are useful to help a person understand better who they are and who they want to be.

  • Giving respectful but constructive feedback is important for IT leaders, who are not in a neutral role.

  • Honest, factual feedback, both positive and negative, is necessary for personal growth.

  • To be a coach means to listen and mirror, helping another create a path to their own success.

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