As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” — Bill Gates
This is so true because the world is steadily and definitely moving away from what traditional leadership has been. Corporations are looking for leaders who can sustain the winds of change. Hence regular development of Leaders (from external & internal sources) is a necessity.
Leadership Development is no more a vanity metric for Organizations. Leadership Development has become a source of competitive advantage in Tech organizations. Organizations are realizing that Leaders shape the culture, strategy & future of Organizations.
This paradigm shift in leadership has far-reaching results. This change in thought has been possible because Organizations increasingly are looking towards Leadership Coaching. Many organizations are embedding Leadership Coaching as a tool in their leadership development programmes.
What Is Leadership Development?
Leadership Development refers to the pursuit of skills that can lead an individual to assume leadership roles and responsibilities. With an ever-evolving workforce and the need for Organizations to to stay at the top of their game, the onus is on the leadership to charter paths for the success of their organizations. In chasing these targets and goals, leadership might lose the big picture in due course.
This is where leadership coaching can play a very important role. Leadership Coaching is a conscious effort in developing relevant competencies so that leaders can work cohesively.
Leaders are enrolled for various training, mentoring & coaching programs to develop themselves.
Strengthening Leadership Development Program Through Coaching
Out of many impressive modalities of Leadership Development, Coaching has been a significant addition. Training & Mentoring were always there, but Coaching as a Leadership development modality has evolved as a more personalized leadership development intervention.
Coaching is fast becoming a niche Leadership Development Intervention primarily directed at senior leaders, executives and professionals. This blog highlights how Leadership Coaching can maximize the potential of leaders within organizations.
Leadership Development Through Coaching
When we talk of leadership, there’s no one size fits all. There are about seven leadership styles
- Authoritative leadership: top down approach.
- Consultative leadership: trust the team and is always receptive to feedback from the team
- Democratic Leadership: Where the members of the team are consulted while taking decisions
- Laissez-faire or hands off leadership: Where the leaders trust and rely on the employees. They let their teams use their ingenuity and experience to help them realize their goals.
- Persuasive leadership: it is a leadership style where leaders employ rational arguments which can evoke a positive response and encourage action. Transformational leadership: Supports innovation, and help team members maximize their potential
- Collaborative leadership: Here leadership emphasizes teamwork and employee satisfaction.
Whatever style of leadership one might want to adopt, one thing that stands out is that leaders are change-agents who enable teams to perform at full potential.
Therefore increasingly leaders want to be coaches to their teams – one who can harness the true potential of their teams and always be available for them.
What Is Leadership Coaching?
The Organizational landscape is changing and the change is dramatic. To cope with this change,
Companies are moving away from the traditional command and rule to a model where managers are ever willing to support their teams in a manner that can unleash creative thought, innovation, and commitment.
In a nutshell the role of a manager is increasingly becoming that of a Coach.
BUT ORGANIZATIONS ARE ASKING THEMSELVES…
● Are my leaders equipped to Coach?
● Do my leaders know what Coaching is?
● Have they ever experienced Coaching through Leadership Development programs?
● How can Leadership Development program provide these high performing leaders the exposure to Coaching
Why Coaching Is Significant for Leadership Development?
When we talk about Leadership Coaching, we are talking of establishing honest learning ecospaces. A leader as a Coach is one who asks questions, lends support to their teams instead of judging and facilitates development. Coaching in fact is an evolving leadership style so to say and leaders are slowly but steadily warming up to this as the results are there for everyone to see.
Leadership Coaching is a deliberate process of building those competencies in individuals which can be leveraged to work effectively and efficiently with others. Leadership Coaching centers on good communication and listening skills, a deeper understanding of working and impact of different leadership styles.
The essence of leadership coaching is centered on providing transformational change cutting across all levels of leadership. Coaching ensures change in mindset – strategic shifts, not mere transactional goal-oriented shifts!
Why Is Coaching Important in Leadership Development?
Corporations are after all made of people. It is indeed people who propel organizations to greater heights. Therefore it is extremely important for people in leadership roles to be equipped with the right tools and techniques to optimize their potential which has a direct bearing on organizational targets. In fact, leadership coaching is a very effective tool in leadership development as it provides them the techniques necessary to act with empathy. In fact Coaching as part of the leadership development programs can help leaders :
● To introspect, reflect and take stock of the impact they have been creating.
● Enables them to navigate uncharted path of their leadership qualities
● Get to the bottom and understand their leadership style
● Helps with honing their core as well as coaching competencies
● Imbue fresh energy into their leadership style and team and enable their teams to realize organizational, team as well personal goals
●Spearhead teams towards becoming adaptive to internal and external organizational shifts
●Leaders through Coaching can create independent and self-sustaining teams
Key Benefits of Corporate Leadership Coaching
It is there for everybody to see that Coaching has immensely benefited individuals both personally as well as professionally. Broadly the more conspicuous benefits of leadership Coaching are as follows:
1. Increased performance
Leadership Coaching aids leaders to examine and zero in on their weaknesses, gain insight into strengths and leverage on them which will help them increase their performance.
Lack of self awareness among leadership can limit creativity and innovation as the leader is unable to see value and perspective of team members which can discourage team members. Therefore leadership coaching helps a leader become aware of the negative thought process. Awareness can lead to action and the leader can have more meaningful conversations with peers.
3. Unbiased thinking
Leadership coaching helps leaders to become more inclusive of their team members and colleagues. Leadership Coaching helps leaders to be more accepting of the opinions presented by team members which probably might not be in alignment with the leadership’s viewpoints but might align with the overall organizational goals. Listening is a must-have skill. Coaching ensures that leaders are trained to listen (actively)
4. Self regulation
Leadership Coaching helps leaders become aware of their emotions and regulate them. In fact Coaching helps them to give a name to the emotions they are going through. This can help them to maneuver their responses and tide over the situations seamlessly without disharmony.
5. Growth Mindset
Leadership Coaching equips leaders to inculcate a growth mindset. This mindset helps leaders look at challenges as opportunities for growth and learning. While training and mentoring can help leaders hone skills, tools and techniques, only Coaching as a leadership development modality can work on the MINDSET of the leaders. Coaching is a very powerful leadership development tool that goes beyond the skills & competencies.
6. Empowered leadership
Leadership Coaching aids leaders to become a better version of themselves. Coaching helps leaders overcome their limitations and also perhaps improve on them and broaden their horizons
7. Better Communication
Coaching helps leaders hone their communication skills. Better communication means better relationship with their teams and better credibility within the Organization. Communication is nothing but understanding. Understanding emerges from safety. If both (the sender and recipient) feel safe, they will openly share and attempt to understand each other. This understanding comes from TRUST.
If there is TRUST – Communication tends to be complete, because there is receptivity on both the ends. COACHING ensures that there is TRUST in the relationship. Leaders can learn to master TRUST based communications. That’s how better communication occurs!
8. Listening skills
Leadership Coaching can help improve one’s listening skills . A great leader is one who can listen well and patiently. In Coaching we realize that we have found that leaders are often doing selective listening or pretended listening. Coaching helps leaders to genuinely listen to understand and not to respond.
9. Amps up performance
Coaching equips leaders to look at issues through a prism, focus on issues, improve people-management skills, and ensure that all stakeholders are in tandem with the overall organizational goals.
10. Problem solving and strategizing
A leadership coach can help the leader look at issues from a 360 degree angle and enable him/ her to come up with fresh perspectives or solutions to issues at hand.
11. Induce empathy and inclusivity
Coaching can help leaders reinforce a work culture which is inclusive, empathetic and where employees feel psychologically safe and secure.
12. Leverage strengths
Leadership Coaches (through coaching conversations) are trained to recognise the strengths their clients can bring to the table. The Coach can help the leader to make use of his/her strengths in a way which can be put to the use for the larger benefit of the team and the organization.
13. Executive presence
Executive presence is about how the leader presents himself/herself to the world. It also includes, “how the leader wants to be perceived as – by the others” and to crystalise what is the self-image of the leader in his/her own eyes. Coaching, as part of leadership development can help a leader to make changes in a manner which can bring about astounding executive presence.
Coaching – A Must Have In Leadership Development
While HR & L&D folks are well versed in the training and mentoring methodologies, Coaching as a leadership development intervention is most effective for senior leaders, executives and C-Suite professionals because it gives a deeper understanding of the self, works on the mindset (and not on the skill set alone), probes behavioral patterns, habits and belief systems of the leaders.
All of this is necessary for high performing leaders, hence having coaching and a leadership coach is imperative.
A leadership Coach holds a mirror to leaders for them to delve deep into themselves and harness the true potential as leaders of teams or organizations. A Leadership Coach also helps leaders to connect the pivotal dots throughout the journey. In short, Coaching is nothing short of a true transformational journey to Coach as well as the Coachee.
What is the role of coaching in Corporate leadership?
Coaching as mentioned above has far reaching benefits for leaders in Organizations. It can enhance performance of the leaders, leads to empowerment, imbues fresh energy and ideas, leads to innovation, encourages inclusivity, enables a leader to be empathetic and induces confidence.
What makes a good leadership coach?
A good leadership coach is one who acts with empathy, has the ability to sustain conversations, appreciates the circumstances of coaching and one who is honest and humble.
What are the three top characteristics of great coaches?
A great Coach is
- One who has mastered the art of active listening
- Everwilling to be in the moment for his/her coachee
- Empower their clients to arrive at solutions