Imagine a scenario where you sit with your future self to seek professional advice. From that session, you would most likely have valuable insights to help you effectively navigate your career and produce better results. The same goes for leadership development coaching.
When done right, leadership coaching programmes achieve the same objective, or even better. In our interactions with business executives across diverse business sectors, we’ve observed coaching is a powerful tool leaders can leverage to improve their organisations through employee performance improvement.
Furthermore, coaching provides emerging and experienced leaders the opportunity to acquire deep leadership insights from high performing individuals in similar industries or business settings.
In contrast with traditional leadership development methods, coaching builds strong leaders through self-awareness and sustainable changes in behaviour. It produces effective business results as a personalised learning process accomplished through a series of one-on-one focused coaching conversations.
The leaders gain feedback, observe their actions, and practice new actions/behaviours tied to growth goals. In addition, we’ve observed that exceptional business leaders are more inclined to adopt coaching to motivate employees.
So, whilst it is important to invest in and prioritise leadership development programmes, incorporating and leveraging coaching as a tool to developing your leaders, equipping them with the ability to respond faster in an unpredictable business environment often makes those interventions more effective.
However, it’s very critical that you know where to begin. Before adopting coaching as a leadership development technique, you must have a solid understanding of your team’s current leadership skills, work habits and productivity, then create a plan to coach them in a way that addresses issues and teaches proper processes.
To determine how you can leverage coaching to become a high-performance organisation, consider the following questions:
- What is working well internally that you’d like to scale?
- Conversely, what are the recurring obstacles or challenges impacting your organisation’s effectiveness?
- What critical objective do you need to achieve in the next year? Next five years?
- What do you need from your leaders to get there?
Also, before launching a coaching programme, you must identify and engage major stakeholders to answer these four critical questions:
- What do we want to achieve through coaching? What would success look like for us?
- Is the timing right to introduce it; why or why not?
- Do we have current champions; if not, who needs to be engaged to play that vital role?
- Do we want to start small or unveil a fully developed formal programme?
Here are three steps to follow when integrating coaching into your leadership development programmes
How to Integrate Coaching into Your Leadership Development Programmes
Identify major stakeholders, that is, coaches, participants and executive sponsors
When planning your leadership development coaching programmes, you must identify individuals and managers with the required coaching capabilities or those whose capabilities can be developed through training to become internal coaches in your organisation.
Consider having business leaders trained and certified as internal coaches. As a result, they will be in a position to coach executives. Alternatively, you may choose to utilise external coaches.
Simultaneously, you must identify candidates to participate in the Leadership coaching programme. Review your succession plan and consider talent managers, directors and executives. Participants must understand the importance of the programme and willing to commit.
Also, just as important as identifying the coaches and participants is to ensure that you have executive sponsorship. It is important that you get executive buy-in for your coaching programmes to achieve optimal results.
Set clear expectations
Be sure to set clear expectations with your internal coaches, participants, the executive sponsors and, of course, your managers and colleagues. When you set expectations, all stakeholders will have a shared understanding of what the programme entails and their individual roles.
Also, it is best to run the initial programme as a pilot and build upon its success.
Furthermore, it is important that you enrol the potential coaches you’ve identified in a coaching certification programme – to ensure they’re trained by certified and experienced individuals.
This way, they gain the required leadership skills and competencies required to ensure the coaching programme is a success.
Before starting the programme, it is important to have a mental picture of success and metrics by which it will be measured. However, this process doesn’t have to be rigorous. If your programme is embraced and utilised by the participants, then that’s a great sign.
It is also an excellent idea to interview them or carry out a survey on the benefits they derived once the coaching is completed. In addition, be sure to ask participants line managers the behavioural changes they’ve observed in their direct report.
By following these steps, building functional coaching into your leadership development programmes will be quite easy to achieve.
Coaching also helps leaders identify desired business results and the challenges impeding progress toward these goals. Besides enhancing leader’s learning, coaching also assists leaders in developing strategies to achieve identified business results.
Through effective coaching, leaders are better equipped to create strengthened systems for ensuring business continuity, driving a culture of personal and professional growth, as well as building a pipeline of qualified replacements.
This way, emerging leaders can adopt applicable strategies to achieve their set goals and deliver sustainable organisational success.
As businesses strive to achieve their objectives, it is important to have a leadership development and coaching programme in place that can cultivate the skills of current and future leaders.
Through careful coaching, leaders are able to identify challenges impeding progress and develop strategies to overcome these hurdles.
Lastly, through effective coaching, businesses can groom successors and ensure the sustainability of their organization.
If you’re interested in learning more about how our coaching programme can help your leadership development or if you’re ready to get started with coaching, contact us today for more information about our leadership coaching services.