Last week I conducted our “Coaching for Engagement and Improved Performance Workshop” for a group of experienced leaders. Having a very seasoned group is always reaffirming to me, because it validates that even the most experienced leaders still value hands on practice. The attendees included managers, directors, and vice presidents averaging 12 years in leadership. At the end of the session, more than 90% indicated that they valued the opportunity to practice coaching conversations.
What this tells me is; no matter how much experience you have, it helps to practice with peers in a safe learning environment, where you can get immediate feedback. Every leader can benefit from having a learning partner with whom they can share concerns, and test out coaching conversations. If you haven’t got a coach yourself, find a skilled peer who can serve as a sounding board.
I find that by practicing difficult conversations, I am more prepared and confident when faced with the real thing.