At work, the daily whirlwind demands of the job and your team can easily push you back into poor habits, such as being reactive (vs. proactive) and force you to abandon what you know to be positive leadership habits. So, reflect on specific triggers that may prevent you from sticking to practices like the 5 coaching habits of excellent leaders:

  1. Explain expectations
  2. Ask questions
  3. Involve team
  4. Measure results
  5. Appreciate people.

For example, whenever you feel stressed, you tend to tell your team what to do instead of ask for their input. Another trigger could be when meetings run long you start to feel rushed, so you do not wrap up with specific actions (What, Who and When) to ensure the team is aligned on expectations.

Maybe there are times when your team is doing well and things are going smoothly, maybe even too smoothly for you to feel comfortable, so you find something trivial the team could improve instead of appreciating its performance.

Write down your triggers and look at them relative to your Free self-assessment results (only takes 3 minutes).

See if there is a connection between the areas where you scored lowest and your triggers. Next, write a specific action you will take to neutralize or avoid your triggers so you can consistently apply the five coaching habits.

Commit to Your Team, Not Yourself

We tend to view a commitment to others as deeper and stronger than a commitment to ourselves, in part because it creates more public accountability. Reflect on why maintaining the five coaching habits is important to your team members, personally and professionally. Remember that excellent leadership is about others, not ourselves. Every time you apply one of the coaching habits, you are enhancing a team member’s life and work with a nice ripple effect into your business and customers.

Every time you choose to say “yes” to some other activity and forgo one of the coaching habits, you are robbing that same team member. He/she has lost an opportunity to grow, contribute and succeed, and all the beneficiaries of that growth, contribution and success are then robbed of the positive impact he/she might have otherwise received.

You are the leadership pebble in the lake of many people’s lives. So, find your own compelling purpose for making the five coaching habits part of your daily leadership, then be bold enough to share it with your team.


“Lee and Julie deliver powerful lessons. As inspirational as it is practical. A vital tool for leaders at any career stage. An extraordinary book!” 

Marshall Goldsmith, The Thinkers 50  #1 Leadership Thinker in the World