What is leadership coaching?

Leadership Coaching is a collaborative, individualized relationship between a leader and the coach — the leader could well be an executive, manager, supervisor, team leader or a business owner for example — simply anyone in charge or responsible for a group of people.

Leadership Coaching is a partnership — one in which both the client and the client work together to reach an agreed-upon destination. The aim of the partnership is to bring about sustained behavioral change and positively transform the quality of the leader’s effectiveness at work and in their personal life.

Partnering with clients is a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. It is a client-driven process that focuses on setting goals, creating outcomes and managing personal change.

What Leadership Coaching Is Not:

  • It isn’t training. Training usually doesn’t involve reflection and introspection; it’s usually not tailored to the individual and trainers are often not aware of the intricacies of human nature that undermine or sabotage behavior (including success) or that bring about an individual’s downfall.
  • It isn’t career counselling although many coaches certainly assist in helping leaders find the right fit and match for their talents and strengths.
  • It isn’t consulting (although the boundaries between coaching and consulting can often be blurred) where the consultant is really seen as the expert who comes in to solve a problem and give advice. Coaches on the other hand, prefer to ask questions and assist the leader to find their own solution.
  • It isn’t mentoring who is someone who has trod the journey before. In this way, mentors are often informal supporters either within or outside the organization, but they have done the journey and typically have the wisdom of experience on their side. However, they can often be compromised with the company on the one hand and the needs of the ‘mentee’ on the other. Further, mentees somewhat loath to bring up issues with them that might be considered ‘career limiting.’ Coaches instead, are generally hired from outside the team or organization, have a broad range of experience and are skilled at managing discussions that might be deemed sensitive or ‘off limits.’
  • It isn’t technical guidance although it’s true to say that some coaches have a strong technical background.

What Is The Coach’s Role? 

  • Discover, clarify and align with what the client wants to achieve
  • Encourage client self-discovery
  • Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies
  • Hold the client responsible and accountable

What Are The Typical Reasons A Leader Decides To Partner With A Coach?

Based on the 2017 ICF Global Consumer Awareness Study, typical reasons a leader decides to partner with a coach are:

  • Optimize individual/teamwork performance (43%)
  • Improve communication skills (39%)
  • Increase productivity (38%)
  • Expand career opportunities (35%)
  • Increase self-esteem/self-confidence (34%)
  • Manage work/life balance (34%)
  • Improve business management (32%)