leadership-boats What are "coaching buttons"?

We aim to share articles that help everyone on their leadership journey. Join us and let's lead together.

One of the roles of a successful leader is providing coaching. Through coaching, we help the next generation of leaders to step up, and prepare them to transition into a future leadership role.

Ideally, coaching is intentional. Set aside time to meet with the person you are coaching, and use that uninterrupted time to ask probing questions that help the "coachee" to think through issues and see the bigger picture. When I help someone with coaching, I like to find a quiet place to meet, away from distractions.

But meeting separately isn't the only way to provide coaching. Look for opportunities to provide coaching "in the moment," whenever the opportunity arises. For example, you may find yourself waiting for a meeting with one of the managers or supervisors under you. This scenario was more likely before the pandemic, but we still find similar opportunities today in the "Zoom era."

Use those moments wisely, and turn them into an impromptu coaching session. At Hallmentum, we refer to these opportunities to provide brief coaching as "coaching buttons." Any occasion where you can provide some level of coaching can be a coaching button.

Like a button on a shirt or a coat, a single button doesn't do the job on its own. Don't rely on single coaching buttons as a replacement for intentional coaching, where you meet one-on-one for coaching. But over time, as you can leverage more of these "coaching buttons," the whole picture comes together.

You can use coaching buttons when you won't have a longer opportunity to meet with someone, but you want to use the time to provide on-the-spot coaching. Never waste an opportunity for coaching, however brief. Even a single coaching question can help the "coachee" to take a step forward, to advance themselves.

The key is preparation for the next coaching button opportunity. How will you use that time? What question or questions will you ask that will provide insight?

Like these coaching buttons for in-the-moment coaching opportunities, this website is a collection of essays and interviews about leadership. Similar to the coaching button, the articles on the Coaching Buttons website each help advance a single leadership idea.

And like the coaching buttons, a single article by itself provides a focused view on an individual topic. But as a collection of articles, this Coaching Buttons website aims to provide new insights and perspectives on leadership.

Follow us for new articles every week about leadership. It doesn't matter what your role is in an organization; everyone leads both across and within an organization. You don't need to have a title like "Manager" or "Director" to benefit from Coaching Buttons. We aim to share articles that help everyone on their leadership journey. Join us and let's lead together.