Compassionate Leadership

Asking coaching questions to get the best from your people

For many years now we have talked about how we live in a VUCA world (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous).  The current situation with Covid-19 is certainly illustrative of this, in particular the ongoing uncertainty; not knowing if or when it will end, will we find a vaccine?  Will we have a double dip recession?

This situation has been in place for a number of months now and with school holidays in full swing, the prospect of schools and offices re-opening we are preparing ourselves for some semblance of ‘normality’, whilst feeling anxious that we are heading into the winter months and what this might mean for a potential second wave or increase in infections.

We all have varying levels of resilience and we will all be coping with this in very different ways.  As a leader, you need to be able to get the best out of your people despite the circumstances.  Adopting a compassionate management style – where you are empathetic and curious, keen to understand what is going on for your employee and what support they need – will build trust and loyalty and help to create connection in a virtual world.

Remember that as a leader, you are role modelling the kinds of behaviours you want to see.  This means giving permission for your people to take care of their needs by showing them that you are taking care of your own.  Whether that is taking a holiday, having a lunch break, booking a coaching session or putting time in your diary to focus on exercise or mindfulness.  Try sharing your own anxieties and stresses with your team – by being authentic and acknowledging the concerns you feel about your child returning to school or your commute to work you make it ok for others to be human and open about how they are feeling.

Connect with your people by asking coaching questions that encourage self-compassion and self-awareness such as “what needs to happen for you to do your best work here?” or “what would you choose to do here if you were being really kind to yourself?”  When people feel seen and heard they are more likely to feel that they belong – crucial for a high performing team.

In September, we will be launching our new Coaching Question Cards – a pack of 50 questions which you can use to engage in deeper and more meaningful conversations with your team.  Please get in touch to purchase or find out more.

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