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Leadership and Employee Engagement,
questions for a coaching conversation, free pdf

The Engaging Leader Questions Library pdf - Empowerment Coaching Krakow


Are you a leader? Are you responsible for a team at work? Or maybe you run a project in a distributed team?

You may also be asking yourself: How can I become a better leader? Or maybe you would like to find out what a coaching conversation with an employee might look like.

This is the Engaging Leader Question Library, available in pdf file format.

You will find questions that you, as a leader, can quickly use at work, both in 1-on-1 meetings and in team meetings:

  • These are pdf coaching questions for leaders.

  • This is an e-book thanks to which the leader acts as a coach.

  • These are questions that develop a coaching leadership style.

But not only!

It is, above all, Engaging Leadership in practice.

The main goal of this approach is to ensure a sense of psychological safety at work.



This leadership style has a very positive impact on your employees. Its result is natural motivation, a sense of agency, respect, being appreciated and ultimately increasing job satisfaction. Thanks to this, commitment increases, which is the result of an autonomous, internal decision of the employee.
This is engaging leadership in action.

The library was created as a result of many coaching sessions conducted with middle and senior managers. It refers to very specific situations and contains practical solutions to increase team commitment - for immediate use.


You could even say that it answers the questions in a very practical way:
"What exactly should I do to be a better leader?" or "How to become a better leader?" or "What might a coaching conversation with an employee look like?"


What will you find in the free PDF ebook on Engaging Leadership?

In addition to the so-called strong open-ended questions, in this free booklet you will also find:

  • Specific examples showing what a coaching conversation with an employee might look like

  • Elements of the art of facilitation of team meetings,

  • Elements of critical thinking (Socratic method),

  • A technique for evaluating the overall team plan that enables  joint decision-making that immediately creates the commitment of team members

  • A special section containing the effective method of the leader working on theirself.

This is the third version of this free ebook for business leaders. The booklet is successively developed, refined, and sent to subscribers of the Empowerment Coaching website.


It currently consists of 19 pages and contains over 40 specific questions to use immediately.


Enter your details to download the free Library

BPAL-Model Przywództwa Sytuacyjnego Blancharda

What is Engaging Leadership?

Kenneth Blanchard, a recognized leadership authority, said:

"The art of leadership is the art of convincing people,
that they perform the entrusted tasks voluntarily "


Paul Hersey and Kenneth Blanchard developed a situational management model based on many years of research in organizations. As a result, a new way of thinking about management styles was born, focusing on the statement that management style depends on the situation.

Each employee requires a different approach. There is no one ideal leadership style - it depends on the situation. And above all, on the level of the employee's development and the tasks to be performed by the employee.

We always define the level of employee readiness in relation to a specific task. It is not a permanent feature of a given employee. One person may have a high level of readiness in one task and a low level of readiness in another.

In turn, the level of employee readiness consists of two elements:
1. their competencies and 2. their engagement.


At this point, let's skip the broad topic of competencies and focus on the engagement element. After all, we are talking about an e-book on Engaging Leadership.

The engagement is the sum of:
1. the employee's motivation, but also 2. the employee's faith in their own abilities.

Motivation is the employee's attitude towards a specific task (enthusiasm, interest, neutrality, aversion). Self-confidence, in turn, is the employee's subjective view on the possibility of independent and effective performance of a given task.  

Especially in the latter element, the leader can play a key role by presenting an engaging leadership attitude based on deep, sincere intention and appropriate techniques.

So what is Engaging Leadership?

This is, in a nutshell:


  1. firstly, the leader's ability to assess the current level of employee readiness (readiness = competence + engagement)

  2. second, the leader's ability to influence:

    • the increasing level of employee motivation,

    • a positive change in the employee's subjective self-confidence

      (engagemnt = motivation + self-confidence)

So if you would like to learn concrete techniques and methods to increase employee engagement and start practicing Engaging Leadership - download our free ebook in pdf format.

This ebook received very positive feedback, especially among middle and senior managers. Maybe because it was created on the basis of confirmed substantive knowledge, as well as on the basis of many managerial coaching sessions, during which we worked through very specific situations at work.

Thanks to that, you will find very specific tips on when and how to conduct a coaching conversation with an employee or how to increase team involvement by using the technique of asking the right questions.

Situational Leadership - four stages of employee readiness

According to the Situational Leadership model of Hersey and Blanchard, a very important factor is the ability of the leader to apply different styles of leadership. They also emphasize the importance of the best possible communication, which supports the effectiveness of the employee in achieving the goal.

The leadership and management style should be adapted to the employee's readiness stage. Hersey and Blanchard distinguish four stages of employee readiness, which depend on both the employee's level of competence and the level of commitment.

This model of employee readiness is shown in the graphic below.

Engaging Leadership in Action pdf - Empowerment Coaching Krakow

At what stage of readiness according to Blanchard is your employee?

As can be seen in the above model, in order to determine the level of employee readiness, it is necessary to define both his competencies (which in this model are understood as the sum of knowledge and skills) and the level of employee engagement. In particular, his motivation and faith in the ability to perform tasks.


Only when these two conditions are met you can get the maximum benefit from Engaging Leadership.  

To help you determine the level of readiness of your employees, we have prepared the following summary:

Readiness level R1:
Engagement High | Competencies Low

Blanchard defines such employees with the term Enthusiastic or Cautious Rookie.

Such an employee, due to his low competencies, is unable to perform the task independently. Nevertheless, he is very motivated to do it. Often, low competencies are the result of a lack of experience. And usually, young workers or new hires are highly motivated.

Readiness level R2:
Engagement Low | Competencies Low/Medium

He is a Disappointed Adept or an Illusionless Adept.

This situation occurs when the employee has low or negligible competencies to perform the task and therefore shows a low level of willingness to work. Often these are people who have been given a task beyond their capabilities. In addition, they are left to themselves but are required to perform tasks in the same way as people with high competencies.

Readiness level R3:
Engagement Low | Competencies Medium/High

Here we greet a Competent but Cautious (or Bored) Practitioner.

In this case, we are dealing with two types of employees:

  1. The first one has sufficient competence to perform the task, but at the same time has a low level of commitment due to a lack of self-confidence.

  2. The second one has high competencies but has done this task many times, is bored with this turn of events, and will show a low level of willingness to do it. We can also deal with the quiet torpedoing of the task.

Readiness level R4:
Engagement High | Competencies High

It is an Independent Expert.

Every leader would like to have such an employee. Best of all, he would like to get it as a gift. But it can "have" it precisely by consistently applying the principles of Engaging Leadership and wise development of its employees, including proper career development planning.

At this point, it is worth emphasizing that one of the biggest mistakes of a leader in dealing with an Independent Expert (and unfortunately a widespread and unconscious mistake) is an attempt to micromanage such a person.

So if you would like to learn very specific techniques and methods for increasing employee engagement and start practicing Engaging Leadership tailored to your employee's readiness level - download our free e-book in PDF format.

Blanchard's Comprehensive Model of Situational Leadership

Let us devote a few more words to the Situational Leadership Model developed by Blanchard and Hersey. Nowadays, the roles of manager and leader are becoming more and more complex, and the ability to adapt is the key to both maintaining the psychological balance of the leader and the flexibility of the entire organization.


Good understanding and conscious use of the Situational Leadership style supports building trust in the team and increases the involvement of its members by bringing out the best in people.

So what exactly is the Situational Leadership Model?

The Situational Leadership Model is a set of practical interpersonal tools and a repeatable, proven process that business leaders can use to better influence others. And because the ability to influence others is at the heart of this model, the tools available in it can be successfully used not only in relation to your team members but in any situation where you want to feel like influencing other people.


The process always begins with a clear understanding of the task or goal to be achieved. In addition, a task or goal is a focal point for both the leader and the follower. It is the leader who must adapt to the follower's readiness to perform a given task or achieve a given goal. 

What are the benefits of using Situational Leadership?

  • It creates a common language for achieving the intended results

  • It enables multi-directional influence

  • It makes the situation more realistic by using the specificity of the task as a measure of performance related to the capabilities of employees

  • It allows leaders to effectively influence changes in the behavior of employees and other people

  • Accelerates the pace and quality of employee development

  • It teaches leaders to accurately interpret and respond effectively to the situation

  • Supports the employee's psychological safety

  • It increases employee engagement and promotes an increase in their personal satisfaction and self-pride

What key competences does a leader develop thanks to the Situational Leadership Style?

Effective Situational Leaders can boast a high level of at least four key, and even critical nowadays, competencies:


  1. The Situational Leader is able to quickly diagnose the encountered situation, and in particular, recognize the level of readiness of a given person to perform a specific task

  2. A leader using this leadership style is able to flexibly adapt your behavior and communication style depending on the situation
  3. The Situational Leader can influence in ways that followers can both understand and accept. 
  4. A leader using the Situational Leadership Style can effectively work towards optimal performance and at the same time prevent burnout of employees


Does the Situational Leadership Model stand the test of time?

The Hersey and Blanchard model was developed in the 1960s. And it definitely stood the test of time. Mainly for two reasons:

  1. it is easy to understand

  2. it has proven itself in practice in most environments and for most people

Furthermore, it can be said that Situational Leadership is NOT something you do TO people, but something you do WITH people.

This model is also applicable to managerial positions at many levels of management. At its center is a man, but it is not a model focused narcissistically on the leader. On the contrary! The human being at the center of this model is the person who is to perform a given task and whom the leader is supposed to lead in the most skillful way.


Matrix of Blanchard and Hersey's Situational Leadership Model

This is how we came to the essence of the Situational Leadership Model, which is presented as a graphical matrix.

The levels of employee readiness R1, R2, R3, and R4 described earlier correspond to the situational leadership styles S1, S2, S3, and S4.

These styles are in order:

S1  - Directive Leadership Style,

S2 - Coaching Leadership Style,

S3 - Supportive Leadership Style,

S4 - Delegating Leadership Style.

Styles S1 and S2 take the leader the most time and require the greatest commitment from him. However, the long-term goal of any team leader is to get each of their team members to R3 and R4 employee readiness levels.

On this occasion, it is worth dedicating a few words to the name of the S2 leadership style.

In the native language of the creators of the Situational Leadership Model, this style is defined as the Coaching Style. But this time we are not dealing with the coaching style of management, but with the style of a trainer. In this style, the leader behaves like an experienced coach of a sports team.

The graphics below show the matrix of the Situational Leadership Model related to the levels of employee readiness listed below.

Situational Leadership Model by Blanchard
Situational Leadership Model by Blanchard 2
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