Google 1st Leadership Rule: Be a Good Coach

The first Google rule for good leader behaviour is:

Be a good coach

Being a coach or mentor is usually about supporting others to develop and manage their own learning. To be a good coach, therefore, means being able to listen and facilitate objectively without solving peoples’ problems for them. The most important skill in coaching is asking questions framed within a coaching conversation.

A coach invariably acts as a cheerleader who urges his team to do better. A good manager can turn into a great manager by coaching team members with new skills and assets – making him more effective as a manager, while enabling him to enjoy work more. As you resolve to facilitate the ongoing learning of your team, you must learn to develop a listening ear to understand what members are going through. You need to ask your team members, not tell them everything they need to do – asking open-ended questions without providing the answer is a key coaching tool.

There is absolutely no question that an athlete’s experience within her sport is almost completely colored by the type of coach she is lucky or unlucky enough to draw. A good coach will teach the athlete to love the sport. He will inspire that athlete to dream big and take risks in pursuit of that goal. He will motivate the athlete to work hard, push through pain and fatigue and bounce back from setbacks and failures. A good coach will directly and indirectly change that athlete into a better, more confident, happier person.

It’s important for every good manager to be a good coach, because coaching is a special art form that encourages people to achieve extraordinary things – with the eventual belief that success will become a habitual formula for the team.

Summing-up: For Google, being a good coach means provide specific, constructive feedback, balancing negative and positive; It also means to have regular one-on-ones, presenting solutions to problems tailored to the employee’s strengths.

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  1. Pingback: Google Leadership Lessons and Rules | Jesús Gil Hernández

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