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Business / Management & Leadership

Coaching Leaders for Success

How to Coach Leaders to Achieve High Performance


This course is focused on coaching current leaders or managers within an organization to improve performance, develop new habits, and contribute to a culture of continuous improvement. Every great athlete has a coach. Every great musician has a coach. And, within great organization, like Toyota, every manager has a coach. The cost of external coaching is too great. This course is designed to prepare managers to coach both their own team members and to coach peer managers. 

This course will provide a seven step model for coaching that focuses on a challenge to achieve organization goals. The coach helps the client then establish short term targets for improvement and then breaks key skills down into pinpointed behaviors to be practiced and become the habits or skills of high performance. 

This model is one that enables organizations to maximize coaching opportunities within the organization and develop internal coaching skills.  

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  • Introduction to Coaching Leaders for Success
    Why Leader Coaching
    Course Purpose: •To enable you to provide effective coaching to both your team members and to peer team leaders. •To provide a structure for developing a culture of continuous improvement in your organization. •To improve the performance of your organization.
    How to Take this Course
    How to Use this Course - Resource
    If you will email me at LMMiller@lmmiller.com I will provide, for free, my book The Lean Coach in epub format. It won't upload on this platform.
    Models of Coaching
    Models of Coaching - Resources
    The purpose of this lecture is to clarify different types of coaching and the type of coaching taught in this course. 1.Life Coaching •Focused solely on the needs of the individual. •Not therapy or psychological counseling. •Coach has no personal agenda. •Coach is not an expert and does not give advice. •Helps define goals, alternatives, reach decision to act and follows up. 2.Executive Coaching •Coach should have extensive experience in business and management. •Coach is focused on the success of the executive to achieve success as a leader of his/her organization. •Coach will give advice on matters of leadership and management. •Measured by the success of the executive which almost always means the performance of the organization. 3.Business Coaching or Management Consulting •Coach should have extensive experience in business and management. •Coach is focused on the success of the executive to achieve success as a leader of his/her organization. •Coach will give advice on matters of leadership and management. •Measured by the success of the executive which almost always means the performance of the organization. 4. Toyota Kata Coaching •Based on Mike Rother’s book and observation of critical behavior patterns at Toyota. •Very focused on immediate transactions, the habit of focusing on current state performance, a challenge, and frequent experimentation toward improvement. •Five questions: 1.What is the target condition? 2.What is the actual condition now? 3.What are the obstacles to improvement? 4.What is your next step? 5.How quickly can we go and see what we have learned from the last step? 5. Leadership Coaching •Focused on habits to improve performance, but ALSO the development of skills and culture. •Emphasis on the performance of teams and team leadership. •Focused on business performance, the “challenge”, in addition to immediate habit patterns. •Coach has knowledge of target skills, as well as target performance. •Applies the scientific method to both performance improvement and behavior change or learning.
    Activity 1: Define Your Practice Model
    Activity 1 - Resource
    One thing is for certain: If you want to develop a new skill, you must do more than acquire knowledge. You must practice. To practice coaching you must have a partner, or a small group (a “study circle”), with whom you can practice. This should be a person or group with whom you are comfortable making mistakes because all practice involves NOT doing it right the first time, but getting better each time! The question for this assignment is very simple. With whom will you practice and when will you practice? Make an informal contract with your practice partners to meet on a regular schedule to practice the skills as you go through this course. My practice partners are… I will practice at the following regular times.
  • The Basics of Becoming a Leader Coach
    Principles of Leadership Coaching
    Four Principles of Leader Coaching 1. The Scientific Method •It is a method of answering questions or gaining knowledge by observation, measurement and conducting experiments that may then be replicated. •It is studying the cause and effect relationships between two variables by observing and measuring that effect. 2. Continuous Improvement •The belief in experimentation leads to continuous improvement and drives out fear. •It is not about the one BIG win, but the power of many small gains by everyone. •The coach’s focus is on simply creating and maintaining forward movement by helping the client discover short term targets and actions that lead toward a larger challenge. 3 The Challenge •The challenge links the coach, the client, and the goals of the organization. It is not only about the client, it is about the team. •Creative Dis-satisfaction creates energy and motivation for continuous improvement. •The job of leaders is the create the challenge, not to create a condition of ease. 4. Shaping Behavior •Skills are learned by shaping pinpointed behavior and chaining behaviors together into a fluid chain. •Shaping is reinforcing successive approximations to a desired terminal response. •The coach’s job is to recognize the current state of performance and to help the client take steps toward a desired end state. •The coach reinforces (encourages) continued effort as the skill is developed.
    The Three Zones of Caring
    The Continuum of Caring "Coaching is not so much a methodology as it is a relationship - a particular kind of relationship. Yes, there are skills to learn and a wide variety of tools available, but the real art of effective coaching comes from the coach's ability to work within the context of relationship."[1] The Lean Coach should be clear about his or her zone of caring. Is the focus on individual development, the development of teams, or on changing the architecture of the organization - the systems and structure? They are all important. But the assignment must be clear. There are numerous ways to describe the continuum of relationships between coach and client: from short-term to long-term, from focused on today's problems to developing strategic systems and culture. For the sake of simplicity, I will divide this continuum into three zones: Blue, Green and Red Zones of Caring. Although you may be operating predominantly in one of these zones along the continuum, you will find that they often overlap. They are also additive, not mutually exclusive. If you are a highly skilled coach operating in the Red Zone, you may also function in the Blue and Green Zones in response to the needs of the client. Why Caring Matters If you are a coach, who or what you care about is central to your ability to affect change. Those who are trained in counseling or coaching understand that the relationship between the coach and client is based on trust, and trust is established by demonstrating caring or empathy for the client. The degree to which I feel that you care about me and my success will determine the degree to which I am likely to share my own concerns and follow your advice. If the focus of the coach is outside of the client, on the needs of someone else, there is little reason to expect the client to accept responsibility for self-reflection or change. Relationships are highly intuitive and they are based on far more than the simple words spoken or questions asked. Clients have an intuitive sense of the motivation of the coach. A coach without self-awareness of his or her own motivations is not likely to build a trusting relationship with the client. 1. The Blue Zone: Individual Habits Some coaching focuses entirely on habits that impact the performance of the organization. While developing these habits may contribute to performance, there are many other drivers of the culture not addressed by this method. Some coaching in this zone is driven by the needs of the organization and not the needs of the individual. There are a couple obvious limitations to Blue Zone coaching. First, it demonstrates a superficial caring for the individual client. It is not about the person, but about habits of improving performance. The focus is on the "object" of performance, not the complexity of the person or of the organization’s culture. There is a top down assumption that the challenge is set at a higher level of management, assuring that it is not the client’s needs but the needs of the organization that are being addressed. By definition then, it is not about what is important to the client, but what is important to someone else. The focus is also on improving short-term performance and not the nature of the organization's structures, systems, and capabilities that will ultimately determine long-term performance. 2. The Green Zone: Teams and Processes Every family therapist has experienced Mom or Dad bringing Johnny to therapy because there is something “wrong” with him. Johnny is misbehaving, he is broken, please fix him! It doesn't take long for the therapist to discover that Johnny's behavior is perfectly rational given the system in which he lives. We all adapt to the system in which we live, and a crazy system produces crazy behavior as viewed by an outsider. You can't fix Johnny without fixing the family system, the behavior of Mom and Dad. Organizations are like family systems. It is the first learning organization, the group of people on whom we depend the most and who depend on us. It is the group to which we belong, the team, whether the senior management team or the front line team doing the value-adding work. The functioning of this team is the key to the functioning of the entire organization. You can't improve the performance of the organization without improving the behavior and norms of the natural work teams and leadership teams. There is some confusion about the nature of work teams. While there has been a lot written about self-managed, or self-directed teams, having implemented team systems and trained teams for many years, I can definitely say that there is no such thing as a totally self-directed or self-managing team. The senior management team is directed by the owners of the organization, and every team below receives direction, and operates within boundaries determined at the level above. However, teams may still be empowered and self-directed within those boundaries. The nature of self-dire
    Activity 2: The Continuum of Caring
    Activity 2: Resource
  • Getting Started
    Who is Your Client
    Who is Your Client? •When coaching or consulting it is always important to know who your “client” is. In other words, whose needs are you meeting? •The coach has two clients: •The first is the Senior Manager who is the sponsor of the coaching and development process. •The Second is the Team Leader who is receiving coaching. •It is important that the relationships are transparent. It should be clear that the Team Leader takes direction from the Senior Manager (the immediate level above). She and the coach report progress to the Senior Manager. Clarify the following questions in regard to your client(s): •What information do I share with the senior manager? Do I share all information on the behavior and progress of the team leader? •Does the team leader know what information I will share with the senior manager? •Does the senior manager expect you to give him feedback or advice on how he is or should be managing the team leader? •Is your primary responsibility to help the team leader succeed or is it to help the senior manager succeed? •If the team leader asks you to keep some information confidential, are you comfortable doing that and will this be acceptable to the senior manager? What type of information might be confidential and what may not be confidential? •What role do ethics play in this set of relationships?
    Defining Your Client's Needs
    Your Sponsor's Needs •Ask!!! •Clarify and Feedback •Measurable Performance: •Productivity and Process Measures •Quality Measures •Financial Performance •Customer Satisfaction •Behavior Change •What changes in regard to team leadership? •What changes in regard to peer relationships? Your Client's Needs •Ask •Clarify and Feedback – Write it Down! •Measurable Performance of his/her team •Relationships with team and peers •Behavior of the team •Personal Behavior – things he or she may do that impact performance.
    Focus on The Whole Person
    Plan Your First Meeting
    Planning Your Meetings Have a regularly scheduled meeting 1.Review the Facts: What are the facts of the key data variables. What is the current condition both in regard to performance measures and your observation of the behavior of the team? 2.Recognition: Be sure to celebrate the progress of your client. 3.Pinpoint Behavior: How do you feel the team is performing in terms of the team process? Are they an effective team? What behavior indicates either their effectiveness or problems? How can these improve? 4.Action Plan Review: What commitments were made in previous meetings between you and your client, and what progress has been made? 5.The Challenge and Desired Performance: Discuss the big or strategic challenge of the organization, and suggest next target conditions or performance. First ask the client what he or she feels would be the next appropriate targets. 6.Feedback: Ask if he or she has any concerns about his or her role as a team leader or how you can help. 7.Problem-solving: Shared problem-solving in regard to the performance and behavior of the team. 8.Contracting: What can I as a coach do to be helpful; and, what do you as a team leader agree to do in the future. Each meeting should include an agreement on specific tasks and dates. This creates accountability.
    Activity 3: Clarify Your Client's Needs
    Activity 3: Resource
    Please download the attached resource that contains the assignment. What Are Your Client’s Needs? The beginning of any successful coach/client relationship is to understand your client’s needs. It is useful to use the Needs Analysis on the following page. This will help you and the client develop a shared understanding of the relationship and shared goals. It is also useful to prioritize these needs. Establishing these priorities with the client will be the beginning of a successful relationship.
  • The Coaching Cycle
    The Power of Positive Assumptions
    A great coach sees the positive, the good, the opportunity in everyone. Every person you may coach has a current condition and a potential future condition. Your job is to help that individual move from the current to the future •What is my client hoping to achieve? What is his/her best outcome and how can I help them achieve it? •What are their strengths? Focus on their strengths.
    Activity 4: What Are My Positive Assumptions
    Activity 4: Resources
    Pinpointing Behavior
    Activity 5: Pinpointing Behavior
    Activity 5: Resource
    Discover the Current Condition
    What are “Conditions?” 1.The data… KPI’s 2.Process measures 3.Observations of behavior compared to desired skills. 4.External Conditions Imposed by the Landscape. 5.Prioritize!
    Discover the External Conditions
    Activity 6: Discover the Current Condition
    Activity 6: Resource
    Set Targets and Contract
    •Ask the client for agreement. Write down the actions to be taken by the client. •When will these be done? •When should you check back to discuss the completed action, or when may you observe? •Keep an action log with the actions, agreed dates, and status.
    Activity 7: Proposing a Course of Action
    Activity 7: Resource
    Practice Behavior to Build Skills
    Gain Commitment to Practice New or Changed Behavior •You can’t practice results, you can only practice behavior. •You don’t practice a skill, you practice component behavior. •Gain commitment to specific time and place.
    Chain Behavior to Develop a Fluid Skill
    Chain Behaviors to develop a skill •All skills are behavioral chains performed fluidly (achieving flow). •What is the skill and the behavior chain sequence? •When the sequence of behaviors flows naturally, or habitually, it has been “chained”. •Confirm the performance of the entire chain by observing the client’s performance.
    Reinforce Improvement
    •Reinforce the client’s behavior with the performance of each component behavior of a skill and at the complete performance of a skill. •Practice Four-to-One.
    Activity 8: Behavior Observation and Reinforcement
    Activity #8: Resource
  • Helping and Coaching Skills
    Introduction to Coaching Skills
    Helping & Coaching Skills 1.Introduction 2.Body Language – “Attending” 3.Asking Open-ended and Powerful Questions 4.Reflecting or Rephrasing 5.Expressing Empathy 6.Acknowledging 7.Brainstorming Together 8.Using Silence 9.Giving Feedback 10.Receiving Feedback
    Body Language - "Attending:
    Asking Open-Ended and Powerful Questions
    Effective Listening Skills Effective listening skills are comprised of five component skills. These are asking questions, expressing empathy, rephrasing, acknowledging, and the use of silence. There is no more important skill you can learn, whether as a coach, facilitator, parent, spouse, or friend. This is a “Life-skill” as much as a coaching skill.
    Activity 9: Asking Open Ended Questions
    Activity 9: Resource
    Reflective Listening or Rephrasing
    Activity 10: Reflective Listening
    Activity 10: Resource
    Expressing Empathy
    With an empathy statement you express how you think the other person feels and why. Showing empathy towards another person helps that person feel safe, understood, and connected to you. We all have a strong need to know that our feelings are understood.
    Activity 11: Expressing Empathy
    Activity 11: Resource
    Acknowledging is a form of positive reinforcement intended to strengthen the behavior of communicating by the other person. Acknowledging may be a simple as nodding your head in understanding. Leaning forward. Or simply saying “I can understand that” or, “That’s a good point.” Add Resources Add Captions
    Using Silence
    Brainstorming together
  • The Skill of Giving and Receiving Feedback
    Giving Feedback
    Guidelines for Giving Feedback 1.Be sure that your intention is to be helpful to the other person or team. 2.Think it through. Be clear about what you want to say. 3.Emphasize the positive alternative to the undesired behavior. You care about your client and you want to help them improve. Tell them why you care. 4.Be specific -- Avoid general comments or exaggerations. Don’t say “You always…” This will cause the other person to be defensive. Be specific about what and when the person or group does something. 5.Focus on pinpointed behavior rather than the person. 6.Own the feedback -- Use ‘I’ statements to indicate that this is how “I feel and others may not experience the same thing.” 7.Your manner and the feelings you express are important. Be direct, but be kind and helpful. Be sincere.
    Receiving Feedback
    Guidelines for Receiving Feedback 1.Understand that the person giving you feedback is attempting to be helpful. Try to receive the feedback as a gift given to you by this person who wishes to help you succeed. 2.Listen for actionable feedback. Ask yourself “What can I do differently in the future based on this feedback?” Do not focus on the person giving you the feedback or how you feel about that individual. 3.Ask for clarification. Ask when or under what circumstances you do something. Ask for examples that can clarify the situation or behavior. Ask the other person what you might do as an alternative in that situation. Seek to understand. 4.Engage in problem-solving. Think together about the problem. 5.Summarize what you have heard. Reflect back to the person giving you feedback your understanding of what you have heard. 6.Take responsibility for your behavior and demonstrate a willingness to modify your own behavior. 7.Remember that this feedback is not an evaluation of how good a person you are, but how your behavior is perceived by others at certain times.
  • Supplemental Lectures
    Targets, Goals and Objectives 1
    Targets, Goals and Objectives 2
    The Hierarchy of Motivation


  • Business Coaching
  • Executive Coaching
  • Leadership

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