Your organization’s next generation leaders face huge expectations from business stakeholders right now. Are you coaching them to grow, deliver – and stay?


9 Powerful Ways to Coach Your Next Generation LeadersToday’s tech leaders and managers must be fluent in an ever-growing list of technology fundamentals, plus think and operate as part of the business, while creating connections and building trust with key stakeholders.

Your next generation leaders need to become even more familiar with the language of business, and they have to strengthen their empathy muscle. It is important to recognize how technology impacts a stakeholder, recognize the pain around it, and communicate that they recognize it.

Unfortunately, the next generation of tech leaders may lack some of the related skills, and it’s not necessarily their own fault. They’ve been busy during the past two years, to say the least. That next gen leader is just not ready to lead yet. Their heads are down.


One-on-one coaching is critical to grooming more fully-formed tech leaders.



Rising IT and AV professionals need clear direction, correction, and encouragement to mature into the multi-faceted business leaders that their organizations require. While training and classes may help, one-on-one coaching is critical to grooming more fully-formed IT leaders.

That means today’s technology chiefs may need to level up in the coaching department. Consider these fresh tips for doing just that.


How to be a better coach

  1. Start sooner

There’s no denying that IT leaders are stretched thin. But coaching would-be leaders must happen now.

You need to get really good at building your pipeline and skilling your people earlier than you would in the past. So, today’s IT leaders need to think about this when they think about coaching others.

Start sooner.

Reach deeper.

Build skills earlier.


  1. Seek to understand

Make sure you comprehend the desires of the person you’re coaching to avoid Sisyphean efforts.

Dig deeper to determine each individual’s personal and professional goals and objectives.

Do they want to pursue a leadership role within IT? Or, are they interested in making a career change?

Ask questions within each coaching session to help brainstorm their strengths and areas in need of improvement.


  1. Go beyond performance management

Performance coaching is more collaborative than performance management.

The aim of coaching is not to meet a baseline level of contribution, but to help employees reach their full potential.

Effective coaching demands ongoing conversation, not just an annual check-in.


  1. Increase your visibility

Demand for talent is high.

In order to build and maintain a team of happy, productive and engaged employees, some flexibility on the part of leadership will always be essential to address individual team member wishes and needs.

Make sure to stay connected to your key team members, whether they are asking for coaching or not.

Whether your team is working from the office or remotely, as a leader you need to keep up regular communication on a personal level to stay in touch. In these challenging times, we must maintain focus on the well-being of our team members by staying connected and appreciative.


  1. Loosen your grip

Top-down delegation will never develop the next generation of tech leaders.

Leaders who want to be better coaches need to get better at co-creating, delegating, empowering, and (ultimately) trusting the people they hire.

This grows important skills around communication and decision-making in that next level of leadership. Keeping things close to the vest and making all the decisions no longer works.


  1. Look beyond your industry for your future MVPs

The idea that you have to grow up in tech to be in it has been debunked.

Given the importance of non-tech skills to IT success, IT leaders may find their time better spent coaching non-IT professionals in tech understanding than in developing technology experts into business leaders.

What is cool is that we are seeing non-traditional people coming into technology, which is a great trend.


  1. Apply your EQ

Emotional intelligence is critical to effective coaching.

Empathy, self-awareness, curiosity, and clarity.

All of these core capabilities will better equip an IT leader to coach team members in a more collaborative, genuine, and more well-received fashion.


  1. Foster self-awareness

The goal is not to create reliance on coaching but to empower employees to think – and learn and grow – on their own.

Learning how to self-coach is a real art and something that is naturally inside all of us. Learning how to become your own coach is a real superpower.


  1. Improve your active listening skills

IT leaders can foster a growth mindset with their coaching efforts in a number of ways.

One is to practice active listening, which is one of the most valuable skills any leader can have.

A foundational element of active listening is to demonstrate that you hear and understand their message at a deeper level than a simple nod of the head. This might involve hearing what the employee says, relating back to them what you have heard, and then talking through a process of problem solving or self-discovery.


This article by Stephanie Overby first appeared on The Enterpriser’s Project and has been shared under the CC-BY-SA license.


Read the original story here IT Leadership: 9 Powerful Ways to Coach Your Rising Stars

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