Leadership coaching refers to the coaching that is conducted in a corporate environment in order to improve staff performance and / or retain talented staff. Within organisations, issues that constrain performance typically occur in relation to two key areas: leadership and communication.
Employees often lack direction from their managers and are left to their own interpretation of what is required of them to perform. Communication issues result in poor work performance, conflict in the workplace and demotivated staff. Hence an organisation’s ability to increase revenue, reduce costs, improve performance and retain talented staff is significantly diminished. This is where a Leadership Coach provides the guidance that is necessary to resolve such issues and turn the performance around, resulting in better business outcomes for the organisation.
What a Leadership Coach does is work with managers and emerging professionals to develop their leadership capability so that they become not only good managers but also exceptional leaders. That is, they can manage ‘things’ as well as lead ‘people’. Hence the organisation is better able to achieve its performance outcomes, as well as retain employees who are happy in their job and motivated to turn up to work every day and deliver their best.
One of the tasks of a leader is to create change, or to implement the change that has been thrust upon them by their senior managers. Hence they need to manage both putting the changes into place as well as taking their people along with them for the journey. How to manage these changes, respecting the emotions that will be engendered in staff, and reach the final outcomes with least impact on current operations, is what a Leadership Coach helps the manager do.
Sometimes changes will be ‘evolutionary’ in nature – gradual increments towards the desired goal. At other times they will be ‘revolutionary’ – major changes that disrupt the normal way of thinking and operating. The implementation of such major changes must be managed very sensitively so that all key stakeholders are involved and informed as appropriate. The Leadership Coach works with the manager to develop plans to address all the key issues and involve or inform all of the relevant parties.
Leadership Coaches play a vital part in helping individuals and teams achieve their goals – often much sooner, and with more consideration for those involved. The manager gains skills in leadership, communication, change management and innovation, as well as the micro-coaching skills of active and reflective listening, asking powerful questions and summarising, which will enable them to better interact with their team and others they come into contact with.