What is leadership coaching?

Published on: September 2018

Written by: Vaia Gounis

The definition of Leadership Coaching is a developmental process where a leader gets tailored help from a coach to help them achieve a goal and become a more effective leader.

When a leader has all the technical excellence, knowledge and resources to achieve a desired outcome, but is unable to make the difference they need or want in the space they work, more training is often not the answer. Leaders need something much more personal and involved: leadership coaching.

Leadership coaching is “tailored to the individual,” or rather, a bespoke development process for leaders that is achieved in partnership with a coach. The coach’s role is that of ally who, from the outset, believes that the leader has unlimited potential to achieve the goal or outcome that they have set for themselves.

The coach’s role is to help remove the obstacles that stand in the way of the leader attaining their goals. This is achieved through careful questioning and deep listening. The coach steps into the world of the coachee while maintaining a careful distance of objectivity, whereby they can gradually help the leader work through whatever is in the way of achieving the objective (either mental or emotional hurdles, such as beliefs, habits or fears). Through a process of inviting introspection and self-reflection, the coach helps the coachee clear a path for success.

Coaches don’t solve problems for the coachees, as the coachees are the experts in their own lives. Rather, the coach helps clarify and crystalize the goal, and aids the individual in finding their solution and committing to the action that will move the goal forward. The coach also follows up to see that it is achieved, and if not, invites more discourse and learning on this issue.