Leadership Coaching is a process that aims to help leaders meet the organizational needs. It is a personalised, collaborative relationship between the coach and the leader. A leader may be anyone from a team leader, supervisor, project manager to a business owner or a director. It includes anyone that is leading a group of people in an organization.
The process of leadership coaching, although intended to benefit organizational goals, helps personal growth of the leaders as well. It improves their interpersonal relationships, job satisfaction, happiness quotient and work-life balance. It is very important to differentiate between coaching and other processes like mentoring, technical training, counselling and training. The aims and approaches of these processes differ largely from Leadership Coaching.
As mentioned earlier Leadership coaching is a partnership between the leader and that coach where both parties agree upon the destination they want to reach and establish a plan with a timeline detailing how they would approach the process. The ideal outcome would be a sustained behavioural change in the leader that is beneficial to their personal life and most importantly their professional life.
There are two forms of Leadership Coaching, one being developmental coaching and the other being coaching to manage problems or risks. Developmental coaching is a foresight that improves leadership practice in an organization like emotional intelligence and work-life balance whereas coaching to manage problems or risks addresses the factors like stress that threaten the efficient functioning of the organization. A pertinent method of leadership coaching in today’s fast paced world of business is to incorporate both forms of coaching while making sure to first coach to manage problems and then move on to developmental coaching.
Process of Leadership Coaching
The process of Leadership Coaching must always follow some base principles. It must establish an environment that is safe but also challenging for the leader. The coach must facilitate the leader’s growth through effective collaboration. They must also guide the leader to practice self-awareness by monitoring events and how they affect the leader and the team.
The coach must encourage the leader to draw on past experiences in the workplace and treat them as learning experiences and make note of how they could improve on the previous practices. The most important principle is for the coach to always follow the practices that are in line with the recommendations given to the leader.
The sustained behavioural change in the leader that is brought about by Leadership Coaching results in many benefits to the organization as well as the leader’s personal growth. The leaders identify the areas where their communication can be improved and, also improve the quality of interactions with a diverse workforce. The leader can identify their strengths and weaknesses and are empowered to work on their weakness and best utilize their strengths.
This change leads to a significant improvement in performance. The leader gains new perspective through the coach and learn how to analyse the underlying problems of a situation and work towards the solutions more easily. Leadership coaching reduces narrow-minded thinking in the leaders and benefits innovative and free thinking.
Investing in Leadership Coaching leads to multiple benefits to the organization. It also adds value to the leaders’ personal growth and hence results in higher levels of satisfaction and commitment towards the organization. The skills that a leader learns through the coaching process can trickle down onto the lower levels of leadership in the organization and transform the organizational culture.