Your people are undoubtedly an essential part of your business – they pave the way for your business to be successful, engage your colleagues, create a thriving environment, and successfully service your customers.
It’s right to invest in your colleagues, but choosing a suitable investment is crucial. Right now, we see an increase in demand for leadership coaching on both a one-to-one and leadership team development basis.
This could reflect the times in which we find ourselves or simply organisations having the time to pause as we transition and recognise that our colleagues are ready to release more talent and deliver more significant results.
To help you understand why you need to invest in leadership coaching, we delve into three reasons to invest in leadership coaching now here.
1. Leadership Empowers Leaders
It’s fair to say that the world is in a state of flux. Ten years ago, the CIPD talked about leaders of the future needing to be prepared to lead in a VUCA world; Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. As we now navigate this world; a world that inevitably impacts upon the workplace; we are in the throes of a pandemic, transitioning through post-Brexit and responding to a catastrophic climate change warning. If ever there was a need for agile leadership, now is the time!
Agility comes with a healthy dose of pro-activity and responsiveness towards change, something with which not all leaders are comfortable.
Add to this challenging decision making, a balanced approach to risk-taking and communicating it all in a way that lands effectively with colleagues, it is easy to see why organisations are calling their leadership coaching suppliers and providing support and challenge for their leaders to navigate these times.
A leadership coach provides a confidential space for a leader to share the challenges they are faced with, identify options and explore avenues that might otherwise be missed, and test out thoughts, ideas, and plans with an expert thinking partner.
Some examples of how leadership coaching supports the agile leader:
Considers the situation, context, objectives, issues and constraints in an objective manner.
Enable the leader to identify various options and explore those both in and outside of their natural thinking style.
Test hypotheses and model potential solutions, creating a deeper level of thinking and insight.
Empower the leader to embrace uncertainty and change and choose responses that will help them and the organisation achieve better outcomes.
2. Leadership Creates A Coaching and Learning Culture
Leaders who have been coached tend to develop more of a coaching style, an ask not tell style. The approach is constructive in a workplace where the leader is rarely the person with all the knowledge, skills and abilities to take the actions required to respond in a VUCA world. They are the catalysts and facilitators who create the space for others to ‘make the magic happen’.
A leader who doesn’t know what tomorrow will bring or what skill will be deployed to lead in a hybrid workplace will benefit significantly from deploying coaching skills and enabling a learning culture. A learning culture is an environment that allows people to learn and make mistakes yet doesn’t create an environment where people feel at risk of ruining an organisation. A leader creates an atmosphere of “scrape your knees, rather than break your legs” – we need people to make mistakes, but not put them at so much risk that they never want to make a mistake again.
How does leadership coaching support a coaching and learning culture?
A leader sees the benefit in asking questions and enabling people to think through solutions to objectives and ways to work through challenges.
A leader’s empathy can be enhanced through the experience of stretching and learning as they work through their coaching, making mistakes and learning as they go. This is passed on as they coach and appreciate the journey their people take to empowerment.
The more people see leaders in an organisation role modelling coaching, the more it evolves into the cultural norm, and people across the business embrace a coaching style.
3. Developing Diverse Leaders of The Future
In a GSK case study by Sally Bonneywell, explicitly focused on how coaching could be used to address the issue of gender imbalance at middle and senior leadership levels, findings showed positive changes in relation to aspects of self, in relationship to others and collective impact – all indicators that led to a positive effect of women being promoted to middle and senior-level leadership roles.
In June 2021, Women on Boards® revealed that of the FTSE All-Share ex350, 98 companies have either one or no women on their boards and that 48 companies have 50%+ female boards, prompting a call for greater action to be taken to narrow the gender gap.
Of Standard & Poor’s 500 firms, 37 % did not have any blackboard members in 2019, and under-represented groups at the leadership level are linked to a lack of equal opportunities, including access to development opportunities, including coaching. To bridge the gap, it is suggested that coaching on future talent programmes and opening coaching to non-executives creates opportunities for future under-represented pipeline talent.
On average, only 20 per cent of an organisation’s leadership development solutions are relationship-based (for example, formal coaching or peer networks). (Wentworth, 2017).
Contact Us Today
Having gained awareness into the three reasons to invest in leadership coaching now, you may be thinking that it is the right time for you to revisit your leadership and talent development strategy and ensure you are investing in your current and future leaders.
Want to talk to the experts? Give us a call on 0800 345 7727 to learn more about how we can help you develop your leaders and create a coaching culture throughout your organisation.