What is Leadership Coaching?

Leadership coaching is a teaching method meant to foster mature relationships, better thinking, and smarter decisions for those in leadership roles. It is also often used for people who want to clarify and improve their leadership style. Coaching is typically offered to several kinds of groups, including family businesses, partnership and management teams, large groups, and individual executive leaders.

Family businesses have an added consideration to address: emotional involvement. As a result, it can be difficult for families who are in a business together to set business boundaries. The goal of leadership coaching for family businesses is to help distinguish between personal family roles and business roles. For example, if a father is in business with his sons, he needs to be able to assume an efficient leadership role in which his sons take him seriously. Leadership coaching can also help families to determine an efficient leadership succession for their businesses.

Management teams that seek leadership coaching typically want to work on achieving higher levels of collaboration and competence. A business coach, for example, might teach leaders to develop skills in employees who report directly to them. There are typically four steps used during leadership coaching for management teams to achieve goals: interviews, analysis, written summary, and program development.

First, interviews might be conducted with each management team member to assess their leadership style. The pre-determined questions are usually meant to understand the leadership improvements that need to be accomplished and to define the overall dynamic of the team.

Once the interviews have been completed, the data is usually analyzed and presented to the team as a written summary. From there, a customized leadership coaching program is determined. The program generally consists of various individual sessions and group sessions over a period of anywhere from six to 24 months.

Individual executive leaders who want leadership coaching generally begin the process with a telephone consultation. The information shared during the consultation, as well as the actual coaching program, is usually kept confidential. In-person coaching sessions are typically preferred, but because of possible scheduling or location conflicts, leadership coaching sometimes continues via telephone conversations.

Agendas for each session are generally set by the person being coached, while the coach normally listens and observes. The coach typically then asks the client various questions based on those observations. These questions are meant to help the client manage his or her leadership role with more insight and courage.


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