Do leaders need coaching and if so, which aspects are important?

leadership development coaching

Do leaders need coaching? To become a leader, you can learn a lot in advance and prepare yourself for future tasks. Later, however, as a leader you are often lonely even at the top. You are “expected” to do the “right thing”. Regardless of which leadership style you prefer or which methods you used to lead your employees, one thing always remains the same: you work with people. This is both exciting and challenging.

Some employees need more support, others prefer to work very independently. As a leader, you are therefore also faced with the tension between loyalty to your employees and loyalty to the company interests.

Soft skills, which are an excellent fit for middle management, prove to be insufficient in the role of a leader.

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Especially as a leader you are confronted with demanding challenges every day. It is therefore important that you can concentrate on your strengths and have already reflected on some “worst cases” in dry training.

Taking advantage of coaching shows strength and foresight

Every leader is allowed to consult experts on difficult operational issues. No one will question your competence if you consult the legal or financial department. So what’s wrong with support for the important management tasks?

A few examples: “Ms. M. always delivers her reports at the last moment,” or “Mr. H. reacts to every suggestion in a snuffy way,” “As soon as things get a bit stressful, the level of aggression in the department rises,” or “When employees from different projects come back to the department, dissatisfaction prevails or chaos ensues,”, “on Fridays, everyone looks to get out of the company as quickly as possible,” and “I can’t switch off on holiday,” or “I can’t afford to be ill,”.

You probably know such statements from your own environment. And perhaps you have already had the misfortune to solve them well.

Leadership development coaching is understood as support and accompaniment in decision-making situations and in complex processes. Together with your coach, you reflect on your requirements and your approach or behavior to arrive at clear answers for you.

Let’s take the example of Ms. M. who always gives her reports at the last minute.

You may be annoyed by this again and again, but you can also discuss with your coach how you will deal with it in the future. By asking specific questions, such as “what exactly about Ms. M.’s behavior bothers you?” or “who else but Ms. M. also delivers late?”, you can view this situation from several angles. So maybe you might consider whether recognition from your side is needed or whether the deadlines are too tight. Whatever your background, views or ideas are in leadership development coaching you will deal with them rationally as well as emotionally.

When does it make sense to take advantage of leadership development coaching?

Topics in coaching can be confidence building, damage limitation, delegating or taking over responsibility, as well as self-reflection and behavior in stressful situations.

Under expert guidance, you can view the topic brought into coaching from a different, metaphorical perspective. This broadens your perspective and you can relax and find several solutions that can be implemented for you. Targeted questions help you gain the necessary distance. Coaching thus also makes an important contribution to sustainable quality assurance of your company and yourself.

Depending on the question, it is still to be clarified individually what makes more sense. Coaching can be used for individuals as well as groups. Especially in larger companies this is very popular: to support managers individually in one-to-one coaching sessions and to periodically carry out group coaching for managers of the same level on similar company-relevant issues/questions.

That the coaching market is booming also has a lot to do with the challenges of the time. If there are crises and uncertainties, then especially the managers are challenged.

In any case, leaders should always take advantage of leadership development coaching if they want to see tasks from a different perspective. This strengthens and provides security for future decisions. Every company should be advised that coaching has a firm place in the HR department’s offer, regularly and preventively.

It’s not a question of if, but who!

For me, the question is not so much whether leaders need coaching, because success speaks volumes and is in no relation to the costs, but when and by whom. So how do you find the right coach?

Since every person is individual and has different needs, it will be an advantage to ask several coaches and to work with different coaches for different focal points. In any case, the coach should have an understanding of business administration/entrepreneurship and should also have relevant professional experience. Caution is advised with providers who can do anything and everything. A reputable coach will always refer to an initial interview and will sometimes decline assignments.

Published by Dave John

Decade of work experience in leadership consulting with strong focus on talent acquisition & assessment across different industries and geographies.

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