As anyone who has attended one of my CoachQuest Leader-as-Coach Workshop can tell you, 93 percent of what you communicate comes across non-verbally. That is, with your tone of voice, physical posture, voice volume, word inflections, and body language. Let’s look at these non-verbal attitudes in terms of Coaching Style.
I’ve identified at least six you should want to avoid, along with the Emotional Triggers that might kick-in with each style.
Pontificator You tend to rely on your rules, laws, values, and past experience to influence those around you. People will often hear and see you spouting off your opinions and solutions, usually in a professorial tone of voice. Emotional Trigger: When others disagree with your point of view.
Coercer You tend to engage support from your personal relationships by appealing to loyalty. You may adopt a slightly whining, pleading tone and a hurt-faced expression. Emotional Trigger: When others take you for granted.
Rationalizer To make your case, you tend to shower people with facts, figures, and detailed information. Your tone gets monotonous and you point your finger like a pundit. Emotional Trigger: When others negate or minimize the facts and focus on the softer, emotional, or more subjective aspects of an issue.
Inspirer You tend to engage others with inspirational stories and appeals, hoping to generate excitement and enthusiasm. Your tone is animated, your eyes wide, and you use lofty-sounding phrases. Emotional Trigger: When others focus on the negatives or on why things won’t work.
Consensus Builder You tend to look for compromises, trade-offs, and try reach consensus to satisfy everyone’s needs. You use a conciliatory tone and reassuring touches. Emotional Trigger: When others will not make compromises.
Enforcer You tend to use demands and threats to gain compliance. You get loud and might even pound your fist on your desk. Emotional Trigger: When others don’t seem to get the importance or the urgency.
Now take half a minute to watch a group of African children practice Call and Response. As you watch, notice what happens in terms of group cohesion and their focus on purpose.
You surely noticed that the child in the middle could Call out a phrase and confidently predict the group’s Response. Wouldn’t this be nice to do where you work? Well, it can happen. Of course, it gets a bit more complicated, but the underlying dynamic remains the same. The idea is to develop a level of Leadership Intimacy that enables you to understand what to Call and how to influence a Response.
I can’t explain it all here, but I do describe the coaching methodology in my Call and Response Coaching paper. In it I spell out how Call and Response can serve as a leadership coaching competency that you can use to motivate engagement and drive accountability.
Before you read the paper, you many want to learn which coaching styles you tend to use. Take our Free Mini Leadership Attraction Profile first, and you will find yourself better able to apply what you read.
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