Why a Coach Mindset Trumps a Growth Mindset for Being an Inspirational Leader
The key to self-development is having a growth mindset, but I think the key to developing others is a coach mindset. You see, a growth mindset focuses on your abilities, qualities, and capabilities and the belief that you can grow and improve over time. But what if the people you are leading don't have a growth mindset? How can you inspire people to see their own potential if that's not the world they live in?
If you're in a leadership role you are often a motivated person, with a vision, goals, inspiration, and a hunger for growth. It's tempting to want to inspire others with your passion for growth, but that can be a mistake. It can be a huge turn off for employees if they are not of that mindset. Some may be eager to interact and be inspired by your energy, but others may shy away and get left behind because it's just too big of a leap for them.
The solution is to meet people in their world, and this is what the coach mindset is the perfect solution for. It is what I am trained to do - listen and serve without an agenda, to understand someone's world and their experience of living in it, discover how their past impacts their present life, and what obstacles are in the way of someone achieving their highest potential.
With a coach mindset, you can meet people where they are. I often find there's a scale to measure people on and at one end you have the "unaware" people, the people who don't know about the amazing possibilities that change and growth can give them or what that would even look like for them. At the other end of the scale you have people who are open minded, willing to receive fresh information, willing to stretch their muscles and put in the work of change. To meet those at the left hand side of the scale, you need to go against your natural leadership instincts and listen instead of speaking, and seek to learn about them instead of seeking to teach. It's about creating enough of a spark of curiosity that they eventually move up the scale.
A coach mindset allows you to really hear your people, to understand them at a much deeper level, to uncover their thoughts, beliefs, and values in order to serve them better. It's about seeking to understand with open and curious questions that don't have an agenda and are not leading someone in a certain direction. You can learn so much from how someone responds to a great coaching question, and their choice of words. We reveal ourselves all the time through our communication. Through coaching style questioning you will allow people to recognise and explore their own potential.
You may be thinking, "But Rachael, I'm not a trained coach." That's ok, because what I'm talking about today is a mindset. If you can embrace a mindset of curiosity and serving, that in itself is enough to change your relationship with your team, and the growth potential of your team. I have a book recommendation that will help you to get started, it is called "CoActive Coaching - The Proven Framework for Transformative Conversations at Work and in Life".
With a coach mindset, you will create an environment of growth and learning. It increases open and honest communication between employer and employee, enabling any challenges to come up and be dealt with sooner. Your team will begin to see possibilities and opportunities instead of challenges and failures. Your team will feel seen and heard like never before, which will have a direct impact on their happiness and job satisfaction, which will in turn improve engagement and retention. You can create a coaching culture for your team which increases performance, and personal responsibility and accountability.
My name is Rachael, I am the founder of Simply Veterinary Coaching. I have been working with the veterinary profession for 9.5 years and specialise in professional and personal growth coaching for leaders in the veterinary profession. I am known for helping veterinary leaders take their self-awareness to a whole new level so when they are under that magnifying glass that leadership puts you under, nothing gets in the way of them creating a happy, inspired, productive team and a successful and highly regarded veterinary practice. Results start with you. Leaders Grow First.
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