Leadership development is essential for any individual in a position of authority. In the current day and age, many leaders may find it challenging to make time to focus on personal growth, but that's where coaching comes in.
Coaching is an integral part of leadership development. Leaders who are coached formally by either an internal or external coach are more likely to be successful in their roles than those who are not. This is because leadership coaching allows individuals to explore their aspirations and goals, develop essential skills, and create sustainable behaviours.
In addition, coaching creates a space for reflection and feedback that can enhance self-awareness and help leaders grow as the workplace evolves.
In this blog, we share six ways that coaching supports leadership development.
1. Coaching Helps Leaders Identify Their Key Strengths and Weaknesses
According to a study conducted by the Harvard Business Review, only one-third of leaders are aware of their weaknesses. Meanwhile, two-thirds of leaders often overestimate their strengths and abilities.
Unfortunately, leaders who are unable to identify their strengths and weaknesses may experience poor decision making, and they may find it more challenging to lead a team of people effectively. Although it can often be difficult for leaders to ascertain their own strengths and weaknesses alone, working with a coach provides a safe and confidential place for leaders to explore them.
While some may be hesitant to evaluate their weaknesses, leaders who take the time to acknowledge their limitations can often be more effective at managing them. Additionally, coaches can help leaders identify patterns in their behaviour that may be limiting their success. When these patterns are brought to light, leaders can work on developing strategies to overcome them.
2. Coaching Supports Leaders In Developing Strategies For Improvement
Leadership coaching is a process that helps leaders grow and improve their skills. Through coaching, leaders can access the resources they need to develop and implement strategies for improvement. As touched on above, coaching additionally helps leaders assess their strengths and weaknesses. Upon doing so, coaching can support leaders in identifying how they can work on areas that need improvement.
In some instances, coaching can also provide tools that will assist leaders in developing strategies for improvement. For example, at The Leadership Coaches, we employ CoreStrengths Deployment Inventory tool, which offers a deeper understanding of motives that drive behaviour.
3. Coaching Enhances Communication
The ability to communicate effectively is a valuable life skill. Leadership coaching is an effective means of enhancing communication at work. In fact, the Institute of Coaching states that over 70% of leaders that receive coaching benefit from more effective communication skills.
Through coaching, leaders learn how to give and receive feedback effectively, communicate their vision and strategy better, and build trust with their employees. In addition, coaching can help leaders become better listeners and understand the motivations and needs of their team members.
Coaching can also help with conflict resolution. When two people are in conflict, communication has broken down. However, coaching can help to restore communication and resolve the dispute.
4. Coaching Assists Leaders In Creating A More Diverse Workforce
Although diversity has always been a crucial aspect of the workforce, organisations worldwide are focusing on how they can create a more diverse workforce.
As Sal Naseem recently said in an interview with Director of Coaching Zoe Lewis, “the conversation we’re having now around the quality of diversity and inclusion is not something that I’ve previously seen in my career…”
As noted in our blog, “how to develop inclusive leadership”, leaders who aspire to create a more diverse workforce need to:
Consistently inquire into their own communication style
Observe and be mindful
Have empathy and compassion
Encourage multiple perspectives
Become aware of what is not being said
Coaching can play an important role in developing a more diverse workforce. It can also assist leaders in developing inclusive leadership.
Organisations that embrace diversity and inclusion reap a number of benefits, including improved creativity, innovation, and problem-solving. A more diverse and inclusive workforce is also better equipped to serve a broader range of customers and clients.
5. Coaching Strengthens Emotional Intelligence
Most people think of IQ and technical skills when it comes to work. However, research shows that emotional intelligence (EI) is a better predictor of job success, which is why coaching can be an important part of a leader's career development.
Coaching can help leaders strengthen their EI skills, which include:
Coaching also helps people learn how to manage their emotions and understand other people’s emotions. Not only does this enhance their own performance, but it supports the development of successful professional relationships.
At The Leadership Coaches, we specialise in using tools, such as the CoreStrengths® Strengths Deployment Inventory tool, that allows leaders to develop their EI.
6. Coaching Offers A Fresh Perspective
Last but not least in our top six ways that coaching supports leadership development is that coaching offers a fresh perspective.
There is often little room to see things from a different perspective within organisations. However, working with an external leadership coach can bring a fresh perspective and help individuals see their lives and careers from a different angle.
Leadership coaching can offer a fresh perspective because it provides an opportunity to step back and assess the situation with new eyes. It can help leaders find new meaning in their work and make any changes they may have been hesitant to make before.
It is important to note that coaching is not only for people experiencing a crisis; it is also suitable for those who want to take their career to the next level.
As we can see from the above six ways that coaching supports leadership development, there is much to be gained from working with either an internal or external leadership coach.
If you have been considering leadership coaching for you or your team and would like to find out more about how we can support you having read these six ways that coaching supports leadership development, please contact us today.
In doing so, we can assess your needs and arrange a coaching chemistry session with one or two of our credible leadership coaches.