What is Leadership Coaching

Aug 24, 2021 | Executive Coaching, Leadership

What is Leadership Coaching, and How Can I Use It To Advance My Career?

Written by Dan Grisoni

While we all have the capability to be a leader, the role is often challenging to master — if mastery even exists. By simply being there to motivate, to answer questions when needed or give advice when required, a quality leadership coach can help a leader find the answers they need to make quick, effective decisions.

Leadership coaching is a developmental process where customized, one-on-one help from an experienced coach helps leaders refine their skills and achieve their goals.

Being a leader is not always easy. It takes patience, understanding and care to get things done; without these qualities in place, the outcomes of any project can be less than desirable for all involved. That’s why when confronted with leaders who are aware they need help but aren’t sure how or what that might look like, leadership coaching should be considered as an option. With leadership coaching, you can get personal attention from someone explicitly trained to equip you with the skills needed for long-term success.

With more leaders coming forward to admit they need coaching, many find their way to a leadership coach. However, for those who don’t know where or how to begin the journey, here’s a primer on what it means for your organization and why you should consider starting today.

What is Leadership Coaching?

Leadership coaching is a developmental process where customized, one-on-one help from an experienced coach helps leaders refine their skills and become more effective. Coaching sessions can take place virtually or in person and are designed to help leaders identify areas of development and growth, build a unique, actionable plan to address those areas, and follow through with that plan. Coaches work with their clients based on the client’s specific needs because everyone is different. What will be effective for one person may not be for another.

Leadership coaching comes to the rescue when:

You need a sounding board

Have you ever had an idea that sounded great in theory but wasn’t convincing enough for others? Coaching can help turn your ideas into viable solutions without worrying about how it’s received and if there will be follow-through once you have put your plan into action.

You need help brainstorming

One of the most important aspects of being a leader is having an open mindset and thinking creatively. It takes practice, trust me. For those who are still trying to find their way with decision-making and project planning, coaching can help you get into that mode faster.

You need an outside perspective

Have you ever had something happen at work that you couldn’t seem to reconcile or get past? Having someone to talk through it with, especially a third party, can help clear your mind and give you the heads up about your blind spots or the mistakes you’re not seeing.

You need clarity of purpose

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day rush of things, but it makes everything more manageable when you find your purpose. When you are clear on what is essential to achieve, it can help bring a sense of clarity and calm needed during times of challenge.

You need someone to hold you accountable

In this digital age we live in, there are no excuses. Accountability is critical in any relationship because it’s the only way to verify that you have met your goals and commitments. Coaching offers accountability, but it also helps leaders see ways to do things differently to get faster results.

You need help setting a direction for yourself or your organization
It can be hard to know where to start or what the next move is to take your career to the next level. Coaching can help you through this process and determine what’s needed for growth opportunities and how you might achieve them one step at a time.

You need motivation

Motivation comes from within; however, when it gets hard, coaching helps keep you on track by providing encouragement and showing you small wins that build momentum to keep going.

three types of leadership coaching styles

What are the 3 types of leadership coaching styles?

Coaching is a nuanced skill that requires constant development to be successful, so something to consider about leadership coaching is that there are three styles: autocratic, democratic, and holistic. Each type addresses the different needs of leaders who are looking for assistance. Typically coaches will have experience in all three, but you need to understand the differences before choosing one as your coach. It can make all the difference down the road.

Autocratic Leadership Coaching:

This form of coaching comes from a top-down approach where the coach takes control and makes all of the decisions. The coach’s agenda is usually based on what they think is best for their client, not necessarily what they need to grow into a better leader. This style can be effective for those who are motivated by the fear of failure. However, this coaching style requires a high level of trust from the client because they have to follow every instruction and set an agenda that’s created by the coach.

Democratic Leadership Coaching:

The democratic style considers many ideas during the coaching process, but it’s still focused on what the coach thinks is best for the client. It’s important to note that democratic coaching can be autocratic as well because coaches who believe this style is better are typically setting up a one-way communication system where they tell their clients what to do instead of asking them what they think will work. Democratic coaching requires an open mind from both parties because it’s focused on the input from both sides to help create a new and better way of doing things that will fit with each individual.

Holistic Leadership Coaching:

Holistic Coaching, which includes coaching for emotional intelligence, is the coaching style that I typically use with my clients. This type of coaching is considered the most effective because it goes beyond what the coach thinks will be best for their client. Instead, it’s based on the relationship between the two parties, where they work together to create a specific plan for the client. The holistic coach is focused on what their client wants most and will do everything in their power to make sure they’re getting it. This style promotes clients’ goals over the coaches’ agenda, which gives them a better chance of achieving success.

How can you transition from being a manager to being a leader?

When considering leadership coaching, either for yourself or your team, you are often looking for help transitioning from a manager to a leader. Unfortunately, many people get these two confused and think they are the same. But your employees will have no problem telling you if you’re not leading them, but instead just managing them. Leading is something that makes everyone feel safe, confident, and valuable to the team or organization.

Managers fall into the trap of thinking that everything is fine as long as they achieve their bottom line. But when you have high performers that are no longer engaged with their work or feel like they don’t have any say in how things are done, that’s precisely when you will start to see a decrease in performance and productivity. The last thing you want is your hardworking employees to become disengaged because they’re not being heard at work or feel like their voice doesn’t matter—so how do you avoid that?

Leadership coaching can help you to create a plan. Once you’ve set the team up for success, it’s time to put together a game plan that will get them there. The most effective way to do this is by bringing your team together and sharing where you want the company to go, how all of their roles fit into that big picture goal, and what they can do to help make that happen. The last thing you want to do is present a plan and expect your team to run with it without giving them the tools they need or telling them exactly how they should execute the project.

To build trust with your team, first, start by being a leader that empowers them. Leadership coaching can give you the tools to move from manager to leader and build the trust you need within your team.

leadership coaching

Leadership Coaching with Grisoni Coaching

I’ve been a coach and consultant for over 20 years, working with 100s of professionals in various industries. I offer a pragmatic approach with no sugar coating – my goal is for you to reach your full potential to lead a more fulfilling life outside of just working hard at getting ahead professionally or economically.

Schedule a coaching call with me to get you started on your journey to becoming a better leader.

About Dan Grisoni

Dan Grisoni is a sought-after high performance coach and trainer. For over 20 years Dan has been helping managers and leaders become influential and inspiring so that they can live, matter, and thrive, 365.

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