Leadership Coaching: A Guide for Managers

Effective leadership is essential to the success of your business. Leaders determine the course of your business, and to make sure they are performing according to your organization’s objectives, you may consider leadership coaching to help strengthen various areas of their leadership. 


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What is leadership coaching?

Leadership coaching is a customized and personalized approach for individual leaders that enhances their performance and helps them achieve short term and long term organizational goals at any leadership level. A coach observes leaders objectively while they work through their daily routines. Then, they identify and remove potential obstacles such as habits, beliefs or fears that prevent the leader from meeting objectives or achieving goals. 


Types of leadership coaching

Here are the leadership coaching types you may consider to enhance your leadership capabilities:

    • Executive coaching: Executive coaching is one-on-one coaching that helps executives improve their performance, develop new leadership skills, prepare for advancement and overcome obstacles. Organizations request coaches from outside of their company to come work with executives for a set amount of time or a specific number of coaching sessions. 


    • Behavioral coaching for leaders: The main goal of behavioral coaching is for coaches to help leaders make long-term changes regarding their behavior, attitude and interpersonal skills. These changes help leaders learn how to motivate their teams and work more effectively with them. 


    • Business coaching: Business coaching is coaching provided for senior leaders individually or with a team to help them improve their leadership performance within the business environment. The main focus of business coaching is to set strategies that achieve results for the business. 


  •  Strategic coaching: Strategic coaching is a proactive approach for top executives that teaches them how to plan for long-term organizational success using comprehensive strategies. This form of coaching aims to enhance senior leaders’ leadership development and the performance of all employees who report to them. 


What can leadership coaching teach managers?

Leadership coaching may teach managers how to:


Improve communication and interpersonal skills

Coaches work with leaders to practice new and effective methods of communication. Leadership coaching also teaches leaders how to communicate and connect with different personality types, which may sharpen their interpersonal skills. 


Deal with conflict management and conflict resolution

Leadership coaching assists managers with handling challenging employees and customers effectively. Coaches help to empower managers to deal with conflict and may role play with them to help them deescalate situations before they become a larger issue. 


Develop self-confidence

Leadership coaching helps managers to develop self-confidence by allowing managers the opportunity to self-reflect on their progress and accomplishments throughout the coaching process. This helps empower managers to do exceptional work that they are confident about. 


Find work-life balance

Coaches may teach managers how to prioritize and delegate their work to help them manage their time effectively. This gives managers time for other things that may be important to them. 


Strategize more effectively to meet organizational objectives

Coaching enables leaders to remove mental and emotional blocks from their leadership. This helps leaders see a clear pathway to success that helps them to strategize more effectively producing better results.


Provoke free-thinking

Targeted coaching helps encourage managers to broaden their thinking patterns and consider other ways to think about problems and opportunities. This encourages flexible leadership that allows managers to make precise, quick and creative decisions. 


Keep employees engaged

Coaching boosts managers’ leadership capabilities and helps them to develop new ways to keep their employees engaged. 


Become more adaptable to change

Sometimes, managers get stuck doing things the way they’ve always done them. Coaching helps managers adapt to the growth and change that may happen in their organization. 


Set well-defined goals for themselves and others

Leadership coaching teaches managers how to follow through on their goals to see progress. This helps them to set well-defined goals for themselves and their employees. 


Cultivate empathy

They teach empathy in leadership coaching to help managers build better relationships and connections with their employees and clients. This may help boost employee morale.


Discover their leadership style

Coaches discuss leadership techniques and help managers to discover what type of leader they are. This helps managers identify opportunities to adapt their leadership style to organizational goals and objectives


Develop effective ways to provide feedback

Coaching helps leaders cultivate confidence and communication skills, which helps managers to provide effective feedback to their employees when necessary. 


Gain a new perspective

Coaches aim to help managers see their leadership from an outside perspective. This helps managers to change any behaviors they identify as problematic. 


Build more productive relationships

Most management positions require relationships with clients, customers, colleagues or employees. Coaching helps managers to use the connections they have to build relationships that are productive for a business. 


Leverage their existing strengths

During leadership coaching, managers discuss their strengths with their coach, and the coach teaches them how to use their strengths to benefit their work and employees. 


Leadership coaching FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about leadership coaching that may provide you with more information: 


How long do leadership coaching sessions last?

Leadership coaching sessions between a coach and a manager or leader last anywhere from three to 12 months depending on the leader’s coaching needs. Each coaching session lasts for about an hour unless the client requests more time.


What techniques do leadership coaches use?

Leadership coaches may use these techniques to help a client:

  • Building trust
  • Active listening 
  • Asking questions
  • Performing a fear vs clarity assessment
  • Encouraging engagement with goals
  • Promoting learning and outcomes
  • Providing support with development
  • Offering constructive feedback


What can I expect from leadership coaching?

Leadership coaching usually involves a series of steps such as:

  • The data-gathering phase: During this phase, the coach finds out information about your background and performance in your current role and former roles within the company. 
  • Assessment: Next, the coach assesses your current performance by observing your work behavior or by conducting a 360 interview. 
  • Feedback: Then, the coach provides the manager or leader with feedback using all the data they collected in the previous steps.
  • Action plan: Once the coach provides you with feedback, the coach gives you activities to complete with a due date. 
  • Coaching: Coaching sessions may involve role-playing, improvement plans or envisioning success. 
  • Evaluation and results: Lastly, the coach sets up a meeting and provides you with the results of their evaluation.
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