People often ask what leadership coaching is, what the benefits are and why people receive this kind of coaching. In this article, I’m going to explain what leadership coaching is, what you can gain from it and why you should include it in your life and career.
I’ve been a leader, manager and business owner for over 20 years, and I’ve always included leadership coaching as part of my routine during that time. It’s an essential bit of my toolkit and it has contributed to my own success. Now it’s something I’m keen to share with everyone around me, but I also know that not everyone knows what it is and what the benefits are. For me, it’s a bit of a hidden knowledge gem, but it doesn’t have to be, so read on and find out more.
What is leadership coaching?
Leadership coaching provides a safe and confidential space for you to explore any challenges you are experiencing, to discover how you can develop and improve your leadership skillset and to receive supportive challenge to your ways of thinking and working. It’s protected time for you to dig deep and reflect on what is working and what is not in your career, as well as in your personal life, and to find strategies that work for you to create positive and lasting change.
Using various coaching strategies underpinned by neuroscience, we explore ways to move forward, and I support you to find what works for you.
What are the benefits of leadership coaching?
Coaching will help you feel more confident as a leader, make you more self-assured, improve your decision-making and boost your performance in the workplace. By exploring and challenging your thinking and beliefs about yourself and developing strategies to build confidence, you’ll develop a growth mindset, you will increase your potential and progression and be open to more opportunities.
Confidence challenges are the number one issue my clients bring to coaching sessions, often believing that they are just not a confident person. But confidence can be learned, and leadership coaching can help you understand how.
Better leadership skills
If you are operating as the leader you think you ought to be and not as you want to be – maybe you’ve been taught a number of strategies for leadership and learned from leadership behaviours you see in others, for better or worse – leadership coaching can help you develop your own authentic leadership style.
In coaching sessions, we explore ideas, identify your strengths and find ways to adapt your leadership style to find what feels right and authentic for you as an individual. This helps you build your resilience in the workplace, build better relationships with your team, create a positive working environment and in turn deliver better results.
Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
In the busyness of a business, we don’t often have time to reflect on our ways of being and how that is impacting those around us. When leaders are under pressure, it can impact their communication style, reduce empathy, and create challenging dynamics within a team. And when we are led by those with low self-awareness, this can impact our confidence and self-belief and our results.
Coaching provides the space to reflect on how you are operating in the workplace and beyond and to know yourself better. To reflect and be challenged on your leadership behaviours and what drives those behaviours. To understand how you respond to the behaviours of others and how that affects your ability to lead effectively. To explore how you really want to be as a leader and as a person and create strategies for positive change.
Clarity and Empowerment
Uncertainty about where your current role is going or about your career progression may be holding you back or keeping you stuck in a rut. In coaching sessions, we can explore where you want to be as a leader and what holds you back from achieving what you want to. What do you need to be the best leader you can? How do you move forward through your career in a way that works for you? How do you bring your team on the journey with you?
Coaching will help you understand what you really want and how to get there. You will find ways to make positive changes, to take risks and to be as bold as you want to be!
The benefits of leadership coaching go far beyond the individual. The positive change it drives will impact both your team and the wider company. When the leadership within a team is strong, empathetic, inclusive and open to challenge, performance and retention improve. Studies have shown leadership coaching can boost performance and increase job satisfaction both for the leader and those working for them. When a leader is motivated, inspired and operating at their best, their team will follow.
Leadership coaching vs leadership training?
If you’ve invested in leadership training, why would you need leadership coaching?
I’ve received and I deliver both leadership coaching and training and both are valuable. Training in leadership skills introduces ideas that can help build relationships, have difficult conversations, boost team performance, and manage conflict.
But what coaching gives you that no training alone will, is the space to figure out how you can personally improve as a leader and how you can best implement the theory in a way that works for you as an individual.
A study has shown that combining training with coaching boosted organisational productivity by four times as much as training alone. Ascenso Coaching leadership training programmes always include one to one coaching sessions, so that the learning is as valuable as it can be.
Who is it for?
While leadership coaching is especially useful for anyone who leads or wants to lead in any organisation, and not just for managers, it can also be used to enhance performance in many aspects of your life. Whether you are a business owner, director, senior or middle manager, team leader or project leader, if you lead a group of people in the workplace or you’re an aspiring leader or even a solo entrepreneur leading a business, then leadership coaching is a valuable investment. It will help you to achieve more, perform better, maintain balance, boost resilience and drive success – on your terms.
How can you be sure it’s for you?
When you invest in leadership coaching, you need to find a coach that is a good fit for you. Most coaches will offer an introductory meeting to explore what you want to achieve from coaching and if they are the best person to support you. Getting clear on your expectations and taking the time to decide if the chemistry is right before you commit to coaching will help you make the right choice.
And understanding how the coach works is going to be key. Do they offer a fixed programme or are they entirely flexible in how the coaching sessions will be focussed to ensure it is exactly what you need? Are they offering coaching or mentoring? Coaching is about helping you to figure out the best strategies and solutions for you, whereas mentoring is more advice based.
Being clear about your expectations from the start will help you have the best coaching experience. I offer a free introductory session for all prospective clients to be sure that we are a good fit and that I can deliver the coaching support that you need.
How long does it take?
Well, that depends. Some of my clients take a 3-month coaching package with fortnightly sessions and come back a year later or when things change for them. I have other clients who I see every month for ongoing support and accountability. And others prefer a 2-hour deep dive session once every few months to dig into their current challenges.
What’s important is that the programme is tailored for your specific needs. My coaching programmes are flexible to meet the needs of the client so at your free 30-minute introductory session, we’ll explore what you hope to gain from coaching, where you’re at now and where you want to be, and we’ll agree a package that’s right for you.
If you want to be the leader you could be – a confident leader, an inspiring leader, an empathetic leader, a successful leader – leadership coaching can help you reach your potential. With the right package for you, we’ll take you from surviving to thriving in your leadership role and find strategies and solutions that are right for you.
So, if you are a leader or an aspiring leader and you think coaching could be for you, why not book a free 30-minute introductory session to discuss what you want to achieve from coaching and to see how I can help you? Book directly for a time that suits you using my calendar here or email me to arrange an appointment.
Francesca Aaen is a Professional Certified Coach with the International Coaching Federation. She provides leadership coaching and training to corporate and individual clients, has provided coaching training and presents at events. If you are interested in more information about leadership coaching, you can email Francesca at email@example.com.