I wanted to address the ongoing importance of coaching as a leader. When I first began coaching, I was fascinated in what I saw as a conflict that leaders needed to provide constructive criticism at times. However, at other times, needed to help a follower find their own path in solving a problem. Although many tools are available to use within a coaching framework, coaching may not come naturally to leaders and may be more directive in their approach due to habit and the fact that it is often believed that by telling, it will be faster to achieve the desired goal.
Having positive role models help to shape behaviour rather than using more directive approaches. However, this often needs to be a learnt behaviour that may take at least 6-12 months to learn the skill of coaching and for it to become a habit.
There are many frameworks that are used within leadership coaching. However, from research-based studies attaching company goals and values, practical content with strong logistical support from HR practitioners, provide the most success for assisting leaders to develop a coach approach.
Current preferred coaching programs generally include a solution focussed, cognitive behaviour approach where the leader needs to endeavour to understand why a team member is behaving in a certain way and providing ideas and opportunities to develop different behaviours to reach a desired goal. Other frameworks such as the GROW model (Whitmore, 2009) and 8 Steps model (Kotter, 1996) to facilitate change, although not empirically tested and researched, can both provide the leader with a linear approach to coaching a team member. Although there are many approaches to coaching as a leader, adopting a motivation role improves the level of competence satisfaction, and can increase the level of objective performance plus increase intrinsic motivation. By recognizing and understanding how to coach helps employees in recognizing the need for change and ways to adopt to new ways of working thus empowering and reducing the level of resistance to change by followers.
Fransen, K., Boen, F., Vansteenkiste, M, Mertens, N. Vande Broek, G. 2017, The power of competence support: The impact of coaches and athlete leaders on intrinsic motivation and performance
Goleman, D. (2000). Leadership that gets results. Harvard Business Review, March–
Kotter, J. P. (1996). Leading change: Why transformation efforts fail. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press
Whitmore, J.,2009, Coaching for Performance: GROWing Human Potential and Purpose – the Principles and Practice of Coaching and Leadership, 4th Ed., Nicholas Brearley Pub. London.