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You’re probably wrong about your coaching skills

By Jonathan Sweet

A lot of business leaders like to think of themselves as coaches versus managers. You're a skilled tactician leading a team to victory!

But the reality, according to a new Harvard Business Review study, is that most people are not accurately gauging their own coaching skills.

Study authors Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman used data from 360 reviews to examine the coaching skills of more than 3,700 leaders based on their own assessment and the opinions of their employees. What they found was that 24 percent of the leaders had overrated their skills. (At the same time, a significant number also underrated their skills.)

"After all, the most critical test for measuring your effectiveness as a coach lies not in your belief about your own skills but rather on how the recipients of your coaching rate your skills (and on how their own competencies increase afterward)," they write.

Zenger and Folkman identified seven characteristics of those leaders that were most likely to overestimate their skills:

  • Poor listening
  • Not a role model
  • Not collaborative
  • Don’t develop others
  • Fail to provide feedback
  • Lack integrity
  • Don’t encourage diversity

Read more on the study here.

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