Career Guide


6 Core skills of a leader who develops talent

Leaders face turbulent situations, diverse personalities, and multiple opportunities all while developing talent

Leaders face turbulent situations, diverse personalities, and multiple opportunities all while developing talent. Talent development is the best development and coaching-leaders passionately develop talent and deliver results at the same time.

Powerful conversations are the coaching-leader’s path to remarkable results. Coaching-leaders also focus on developing strengths and maximising capacity. Here are the six core coaching skills – adapted from a book titled Coaching for Engagement – that will help leaders develop talents through engaging conversations.


1.Self-awareness and energy management

-Develop awareness of your energy state

-Notice the impact of your energy on others

-Manage energy before conversations. How are you approaching this conversation?

-Monitor and manage energy during conversations. Watch for joy and frustration during powerful conversations


2.Curious questioning

-Invite input and expect differing opinions

-Seek to understand the values, assumptions, and goals of others

-Pursue new ways of seeing by inviting others in


3.Open listening

-Remain respectful when others speak. Reject personal assumptions and expectations

-Listen for aspiration. What motivates them?

-Watch body language and monitor emotions. How do they feel and what does that say about this topic?


4.Appreciative discovery

-Look for untapped talents, strengths, and capabilities

-Explore new options and opportunities for service

-Generate enthusiasm by connecting with aspiration and motivation


5.Catalytic feedback

-Talk about what’s working and what’s getting in the way

-Set achievable goals and celebrate small wins

-Reinforce positive behaviours with praise


6.Heightened engagement

-Stay focused on results while building relationships

-Define success together, agree on next steps, and how progress will be reviewed

-Review progress, identify relevant learning, and celebrate achievement


Surprising strategy

Begin with self-awareness and end with heightened engagement. Approach the six core coaching skills as a sequential trail to a mountain peak. Ask yourself these questions:

-Which coaching skill has been most useful to you and how?

-Which coaching skill is most challenging?

-How might leaders develop it?


Dan Rockwell is a coach, speaker and is freakishly interested in leadership. He is an author of a world-renowned most socially shared leadership blog, Leadership Freak. To get in touch with Dan, write to us at editor@leaderonomics.com.

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