When you are in a leadership role, it is important to invest in coaching. When you are in such a position, you are responsible for the success and failure of others as well as for yourself and, therefore, it is important to invest in training to help you and your team achieve their goals. 

Here's the what, the who, the why and the how about leadership coaching.

What is leadership coaching?

Leadership coaching is more commonly known as executive coaching. It empowers and develops executives, directors, leaders, managers and supervisors to achieve their desired goals. It is an imperative part of leadership development. It involves mutual trust and partnership between the coach and coachee in a confidential setting.

Leadership coaching is a powerful process that helps managers to enhance their performance by focusing on their personal development and professional growth. It is a great way to learn about yourself and identify areas of improvement that you may not have noticed otherwise. It helps executives to achieve their potential by developing new skills and improving current ones.

Any form of coaching is most effective if and when the coachee is willing to make changes, has an open mind and is ready to take action. The results are a direct reflection of the amount of work put in by both the coachee and coach, but primarily by the client.

A good 70% of the work is done by the coachee. The remainder of the work is done by the coach, which entails tailored coaching sessions for each individual using professional models, tools and assessments. 

Who is leadership coaching for?

Leadership coaching is for individuals as well as for organisations. Individuals seek coaching to enhance their leadership skills and to solve specific issues.

Organisations seek leadership coaching for their leadership team or for specific managers who need additional support to enhance their performance or relationships at work. Coaching can be on a one-to-one basis or in group settings or a combination of both. 

Why invest in leadership coaching 

When you are in a leadership position, you need strategies to lean on. Coaching is an effective way for leaders to navigate the unpredictable and complex landscape of modern leadership. Coaching can help you develop skills and strategies to manage your performance.

Effective leadership coaching:

  • Develops high potential;
  • Transforms leadership style;
  • Improves inter-personal relationships;
  • Helps navigate through change;
  • Improves performance and productivity;
  • Increases confidence and motivation;
  • Enhances emotional intelligence;
  • Elevates leadership;
  • Enhances relationships at work;
  • Expresses executive presence;
  • Addresses derailing behaviour;
  • Facilitates transition;
  • Builds resilience.

How does leadership coaching work?

One-to-one coaching brings the most profound results. This is because the client is given full individual attention to focus on his/her goals. The number of sessions is determined by the client’s needs and recommendation of the coach. They can range from one to six sessions and are usually spread out over a number of weeks and months.

The first coaching session thoroughly examines the situation and desired goals of the client. The remaining sessions involve going on a journey of exploring, embracing and enjoying the learning from the sessions.

It is common to use various assessments and tools during, in-between and/or after the sessions. Values, strengths, emotional intelligence, triggers, boundaries and high-low are some of the instruments used. Reflection and feedback exercises are completed after each session. These solidify the learning from each session.

Group coaching incorporates elements of one-to-one coaching but is held in a group setting. 

It is for executives, directors, leaders and managers from different industries and backgrounds who enjoy learning in group settings. This programme develops leadership skills. Different leadership topics are covered using assessments, tools, feedback and role-

What to look out for when choosing a leadership coach

Qualifications: It is important that the coach has the formal qualification as an accredited coach. Organisations such as the EMCC (European Mentoring and Coaching Council) and ICF (International Coaching Federation) are the leading accreditation bodies for professional coaches.

Having these accreditations means that the coach has undergone extensive theoretical and practical coaching. Coaches can have additional academics that leverage their expertise in the area of coaching.

Work and industry background: Ideally the coach should have experience of the industry that their clients work in. Having the tangible experience in the particular industry makes it easier for both sides to understand each other. This is not to say that a coach who has experience outside of the industry would not be suitable.

Trust and chemistry: Like with any relationship in life, a good relationship is formed on the basis of trust and chemistry. Generally speaking, these can be gauged at the initial consultation stage before agreeing to sign up for coaching sessions.

Budget and cost: Needless to say, that the price, number of anticipated sessions and duration of each session should align with your budget. Generally speaking, the price of the coaching reflects the quality of service that will be provided by the coach.  

In summary, leadership coaching is leadership development.

If you are ready to make changes in your professional life, ready to invest in your development, ready to fast-track your leadership journey, ready to make yourself a priority, ready to take action, then you are ready for leadership coaching! What are you waiting for? You are ready!

Author: Rabia Mirza. As an accredited leadership coach and HR consultant, Mirza helps people managers develop their leadership skills and empower them to be a greater version of themselves. For more details, contact her at: rabiamirzaleadership@gmail.com Website: www.rabiamirzaleadership.com  LinkedIn: https://ie.linkedin.com/in/rabiamirza Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rabia_Mirza_