Leadership styles are believed to have existed for centuries before they were formally studied and put together to form a coaching leadership style. Some people believe that there are many types of leaders, some people believe that there is one kind of leadership, and some leaders disagree with the concept of leadership.
What is a coaching leadership style?
The definition of a leadership coaching style is “a method through which managers provide support to the members of an organization. The purpose of this support is to help other people develop their own leadership skills.”
This coaching style has evolved over time because there are different ways to lead people, just as there are many ways that someone may direct another person’s work.
Leadership coaching styles include:
Pacesetting (also known as directive or autocratic leadership)
This is the traditional assumption of “boss” like behavior, in which employees are expected to do what they’re told without any discussion. The pacesetter has typically gained their position by demonstrating superior knowledge in a particular area and expects to transfer that knowledge onto subordinates. This is in contrast with the “servant leader” style below.
Affiliative or Coaching Leadership Style
This leadership coaching style draws on the servant leader model, in which employees are provided with direction, but are also expected to provide input into decisions through discussion and debate.
This leadership style taps into the power of the visionary leader, who emphasizes building a shared vision through inspiration and influence. This is in contrast with the “transactional” or “contingency” approaches below which are typically based on rational decision-making.
Coaching Leadership Style (servant)
The coaching leadership style combines elements of both pacesetting and affiliative/coaching leadership styles. In this case, there is a shared vision but subordinates are allowed input into the decision-making process.
How a coaching leadership style unlocks potential
A leadership style coach helps their client understand and develop their own style so that they can be more effective in what they do. While every coaching situation is specific to the client, a leadership coaching style typically involves the coach helping the client to identify their own strengths and weaknesses, then developing a plan that helps them take advantage of their strengths while minimizing or eliminating their weaknesses.
A coaching leadership style is not just for managers – it can be used by anyone in a leadership situation. For example, an executive could develop their own coaching leadership style to help them delegate effectively, or a project manager could use coaching leadership principles to motivate their team.
Leadership coaches are often individuals who do not have direct authority over other employees but may be able to gain that level of respect within the company culture because of their knowledge and expertise in areas such as training and development. They can also play a role in sharing that expertise with managers and executives by providing training and development programs for those employees who report to them.
Leadership Style Coaching addresses the question of how an individual can enhance their performance through self-awareness and self-care. It is not about dictating what to do, but rather helping the individual discover what is possible for them. Leadership Style Coaching is a self-discovery process, during which you ask yourself what your leadership style is and how that influences your interaction with others in a work context. Leadership Style Coaching will explore any imbalances or weaknesses in your leadership repertoire and offer practical tools to help you maximize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses. You will be encouraged to develop a personal leadership philosophy, which will empower you to create the career and work life that you want.
Leadership Style Coaching can be tailored to suit any organizational need, such as:
• Starting up a new team or department;
• Building leadership capabilities;
• Critical incident intervention;
• Pre-employment / recruitment coaching;
• Staff development, training and development plans;
• Ongoing performance management. Leadership Style Coaching is typically undertaken over a period of 6–12 months, with one or two sessions per month.
Leadership style coaching is a vital tool in both your personal and professional life. When you think about it, we all have those times when we need to take a look at who we are as people, what we think and what we do. Regardless of whether you are a manager, a business owner or an individual contributor, coaching yourself to be the best you can be is never a bad thing.
As an individual contributor or manager, it takes some time to really get into your own leadership style and find out how it works for you personally. Once you have developed a personal leadership philosophy, you will know what elements work for you and how to interact with your team in the best possible way.
In short, coaching means offering guidance, suggestions or feedback to someone so that they can do better at a certain task or function. Leadership style coaching would be a more exclusive term used in relation to an individual who uses their coaching skills to help someone do better at work, regardless of whether they are a manager or not.
Practitioners in Leadership Style Coaching use their training and expertise to develop an understanding of the leadership role on both a personal level and within organizations. They have an excellent grasp of interpersonal abilities, self-awareness, behavioural styles and coaching techniques.
Leadership Style Coaching also requires that the practitioner be able to support their clients in making effective decisions, implementing strategies and measuring progress. These skills will enable the leader to function at a high level of performance by developing an awareness of how they interact with others both individually and in groups, enabling them to make informed choices about their behaviour and its effect on their own and others’ performance.
Leadership Style Coaching may be done in a variety of ways, including individual or group sessions, one-to-one or telephone conversations, workshops or seminars. It is often used to help senior managers, executives and business owners improve how they work with each other and their staff.
How does a coaching style differ from traditional a management style?
In a leadership style coaching environment, the leader is not telling their staff what to do but rather helping them discover what they can do for themselves.
What does Leadership Style Coaching focus on?
Leadership style coaching focuses on three main areas:
Personal Leadership Philosophy – why you think and act as you do, particularly around leadership issues.
Leadership Behaviours – how your behaviour can have a positive effect on your team and organization, by building trust, setting clear expectations and communicating effectively.
Strategic Thinking – how you make decisions, particularly around daily operational matters as well as longer-term organisational direction.
What is the difference between coaching and mentoring?
“Coaching is a one-to-one activity that takes place at the individual’s work site. Mentoring typically involves a more senior person teaching younger staff, often in a group setting.”
What are people looking for from their leadership style coaching?
People look to leadership style coaching as a way of understanding themselves better and wanting to discover the root causes of the behaviours that are stopping them from being more effective.
Leadership style coaching can provide a solution to problems by helping them understand how they work with themselves, other people around them and their environment, finding new ways of approaching things. They may be looking for help with changing long-standing patterns or solving specific problems.
How can a coaching style help to improve performance and motivation?
“Leadership style coaching can help motivate and increase individual performance by helping the team member understand their potential. It also encourages them to see how they may be limiting this, through unhelpful thoughts and beliefs, which in turn limits the changes they believe are possible.”
How does a coaching style differ from traditional a management style?
Leadership style coaching is about empowering individuals and helping them to take responsibility for their actions, whereas traditional management styles often involve telling employees what to do.
How does a coaching style help someone learn?
A coaching style helps people learn by focusing on why they think and act in the way that they do, rather than telling them what to do.
How can a coaching style help someone to be more self-aware?
A coaching style helps people to become more self-aware because it encourages them to look at things from their own perspective and not the perspective of others. It focuses on understanding ideas and feelings rather than giving instructions or telling employees what they should do.
Is a coaching approach linked to emotional intelligence?
“Leadership style coaching was developed using the model of emotional intelligence, which shows how people process information and make decisions. It is based on the assumption that a person’s ability to understand themselves and other people is key to being an effective leader.”
How does a leader–coach improve performance?
A leader-coach helps someone improve performance by gaining a better understanding of themselves and others, which can help their team members become more motivated and empowered to perform at their best.
How does a coaching style benefit the coach?
Leadership Style Coaching benefits the coach in many ways:
It improves self-awareness and relationships with others, so they become a better leader and have a positive effect on those around them.
It helps leaders to understand why certain things worked well in the past and continue to do so, as well as what can be improved upon or stopped doing because it does not work for them or anyone else.
Courageous conversations become easier as the leader becomes more aware of the root causes of their opinions, feelings and behaviours.
It can help leaders to develop a better understanding of themselves, which in turn increases their confidence and self-belief.
When is coaching not appropriate?
Coaching is not always appropriate; some team members may find it too demanding or not be open to the process. They may not be able to change or they may not want to take responsibility for their actions.
However, if team members feel that coaching is something that could benefit them, it may be a good option for them to explore in the future.
List of the Advantages of Coaching Leadership:
1. Coaching helps individuals take responsibility for their own actions rather than being told what to do.
2. Leaders can help motivate people by being an open role model that encourages them to be the best that they can be.
3. It can also help leaders to gain a better understanding of themselves and others, which increases their self-awareness and enables them to make more rational decisions.
4. Coaching can provide many benefits to both the leader and team member, including:
a. Individual are empowered through taking responsibility for their own actions.
b. A happier, more motivated work environment is created when employees feel empowered to take responsibility for their own actions rather than being told what to do. A leader can help motivate people by being an open role model that encourages them to be the best that they can be.
c. It can also help leaders to gain a better understanding of themselves and others, which increases their self-awareness and enables them to make more rational decisions.
List of the Challenges posed by Coaching Leadership:
1. Understanding how individuals process information and make decisions can be difficult, especially if individuals are not aware of their own thinking styles.
2. The effectiveness of coaching may depend on the personality and willingness of the individual being coached to be open-minded.
3. It can sometimes feel easier to tell people what they should do instead of helping them develop skills so that they can work it out for themselves.
4. Coaching is not always appropriate; some team members may find it too demanding or not be open to the process. They may not be able to change or they may not want to take responsibility for their actions.
5. It can become more difficult to tell someone what to do as they grow into a leadership role and become more experienced because they then want to make decisions on their own.