Leadership Coaching and Its Importance

leadership, inspiration

Coaching is about recognizing client’s goals and working together to find out how to reach those goals. It provides a structured approach for problem resolution and sets out a clear path on how to tackle given objectives. Coaching supports the client with the transformation when the individual’s skills and knowledge are used to improve his or her effectiveness.

In essence, leadership coaching begins with goalsetting, based on those things in life or at work that hold people back or a goal that people would like to achieve. Then, through discussion and accountability, the client will find new perspectives, ideas and habits which usually result in improved performance and steady progress towards the goal.  It’s about moving from point A to point B, always around behavior and action.

Leadership (or Executive) coaching involves working with organizational leaders to support them in understanding the impact the leader has. Furthermore, it teaches how to bring his or her most effective self to the practice of leadership.  In other words, it’s about improving a team’s performance by bringing the leader’s whole and best self to work as a leader. Typical areas of focus for leadership coaching are increasing engagement, improved team dynamics, better decision-making, building resourcefulness and creativity.

Leadership coaching can take many forms but a typical coaching session is simply a structured, confidential discussion, either face-to-face or via phone or web conference. The session is focused on the coaching client and his or her goals.  Often, the initial conversation focuses on identifying the individual’s core values, strengths and limiting beliefs that affect performance. 

leadership coaching, supporting

Over time, new perspectives emerge and new ideas come forth on how to deal with issues.  Generally, each coaching session ends with some homework for the client. At this point, the coach’s job is to hold the coaching client accountable for meeting his/her commitments and supporting the coaching client in reaching the specific goals.

At the end of a coaching engagement, the coaching client and the coach (and often a sponsoring executive or manager) will review the original goals and weigh it against the progress toward reaching those goals. 

Leadership coaching can have a powerful, positive impact. A 2013 meta-analysis performed by researchers at the University of Amsterdam said that ‘coaching has significant positive effects on performance and skills, well-being, coping, work attitudes, and goal-directed self-regulation. In general, our meta-analytic findings indicate that coaching is an effective tool for improving the functioning of individuals in organizations.[1]

The involvement of a highly-trained and certified coach is of significant importance because the training allows the coach to acquire knowledge and frameworks for effective coaching. Good coaching incorporates a discipline which keeps the discussion on task and creates the environment where the coaching client feels challenged but at the same time comfortable with exploring new options and ideas. A trained coach can analyze for small changes in the energy of the coaching client which indicate either issues that need to be addressed or areas of real strength which can be leveraged.

However, leadership coaching is not therapy.  This is not about identifying the original sources of behaviors (although it may come up). The coaching process focuses purely on identifying goals and working on finding ways to achieve those goals. The result is a leader more empowered to make positive contributions to the organization.

Have you considered hiring a leadership coach? What do you think about it? Share your ideas!

Silimar articles you might find interesting:

[1] Does Coaching Work? - A Meta-analysis on the Effects of Coaching on Individual Level Outcomes in an Organizational Context. A summary for the International Coach Federation Tim Theeboom University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Bianca Beersma University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Annelies E.M. van Vianen University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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