The world of work is in a constant state of flux, and with advances in technology, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, the pace of change gets quicker and quicker. To this, we also have to add how the pandemic completely altered the world of work. It means leaders need to continuously be developing to easily adapt to constant change and bring their teams and organisations along with them.
A great way to support your leaders in their development is with coaching. Coaching is a valuable tool for leadership development, and there is a growing body of research studies that demonstrates this value.
‘Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximise their own performance.’ - Sir John Whitmore
Not only that, one study found that leadership coaching had implications beyond the individual leader to the broader organisation. Termed the coaching ripple effect, in addition to leaders experiencing a significant increase in goal attainment, transformational leadership, and psychological well-being, positive increases in well-being were also experienced by those who were closely connected to the leader.
There are many benefits to be gained on a personal, team, and organisational level when leaders receive coaching for their leadership development.
On an individual level, coaching can help leadership development by modifying and developing a leader's behaviour and cognition. It can help leaders increase their emotional intelligence to have heightened self-awareness, which is a crucial leadership skill. This makes it easier for them to identify their behaviour's impact on others and why they respond to others the way they do.
All leaders need to be able to adapt their style according to the situation and environment they find themselves in. Coaching provides a safe, non-judgemental space where leaders can critically examine the effectiveness of their leadership style, get feedback, and identify the best approaches to take.
When they put into practice these more helpful approaches, they can go back and reflect and review with their coach how things went. This process of continually identifying what is needed, putting it into practice, then reflecting, reviewing, and refining, enables them to embed the learning gained through coaching and bring about change.
Through coaching, leaders can address any self-limiting beliefs they may hold and clarify their strengths and how best to utilise them. It helps to improve their strategic thinking and decision-making. It can also help them develop an awareness of when their biases may be disadvantaging others or giving others an unfair advantage.
Leaders who receive leadership development coaching can benefit mentally, emotionally, and physically because working with a coach can help them see how much these areas are intertwined and the impact a deficiency can have on their productivity and performance at work.
This enables them to take a holistic approach to addressing challenges and issues.
Coaching helps leaders clarify their goals and provides them with challenges and accountability to support them as they pursue them.
Leadership development coaching benefits both the leadership team the individual is a member of and the teams that they lead. Leadership teams need to work collaboratively so that there is alignment with the organisation's values and objectives. Coaching can help leadership development by encouraging leaders to develop their interpersonal relationships and foster better collaboration amongst their peers.
It helps leaders to improve their leadership effectiveness. It can help to increase their ability to empathise, boost employee engagement, and in turn, improve productivity and performance.
A 2017 study looking at the benefit to followers when leaders receive leadership coaching found that they engaged in individual consideration toward their followers. And in turn, engaged in constructive leadership behaviours.
At the organisation level, coaching can help leadership development by driving cultural and behaviour change throughout an organisation. It can help leaders improve stakeholder engagement, making it easier to understand stakeholder needs and address their concerns. Coaching can help leaders to increase their influence amongst stakeholders.
Organisations that develop a coaching culture and provide leadership development coaching for their leaders can benefit from an overall improvement in performance, employee engagement, and employee retention. They are more resilient and better able to adapt to change.
When the services of an external leadership coach are used, it provides an independent lens for the leader to view their situation. Coaching challenges a leader’s thinking, helping them to see things from different perspectives. It helps them identify and implement solutions to the issues and challenges they, their teams, and their organisations face.
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We hope that this blog has helped you recognise how coaching can help leadership development. Book a free consultation by calling us today if you want to find out how our leadership development coaching services can benefit your leaders.