I Want to be a "Coaching Leader"

Effective leaders create and maintain willing followers who cooperate to achieve meaningful goals.

There is no doubt that effective leadership and effective coaching have a great deal in common and here is an easy way of understanding why this is the case.

In any organisational setting there are always two primary aspects - the tasks and the people. Those in leadership roles who have a primary focus on the task will have a tendency to ask themselves the question, "How do I get people to do what I want them to do?" This approach can easily lead them into what we term The Control Paradigm and an aggressive leadership style. Such a style tends towards creating a passive work group, poor working relationships and less effective coordination and activity. Although this can create short term outcomes, it has major negative impacts over the longer term as the relationship issues created by this approach play a bigger role.

On the other hand, leaders whose primary focus is on people tend to ask themselves the question, "How do I engage and focus our people to achieve the best outcomes?" Such an approach lends itself to developing "The Trust Paradigm" and a constructive coaching leadership style. Research organisations such as Human Synergistics have clearly shown that constructive styles lead to better outcomes across a range of areas in both the short and long term.

Today, there are some ever increasing challenges facing everyone in a leadership role:

  • Change... the speed of change is increasing rapidly leading to very reactive, rather than proactive, environments;
  • Complexity... that change combined with information systems that provide vast amounts of data leads to greater complexity to assessed and worked through; and
  • Pressure... added to those challenges is the constant need to produce more often with less resources

It is little wonder, that that these challenges often lead to overwhelming STRESS.

To meet these challenges and to still effectively lead others, today's leaders need FOUR key attributes:

  1. Resilience born of self-awareness and providing the capacity to manage stress;
  2. Adaptability born of being an effective learner and the wisdom to apply appropriate knowledge at the time it is needed;
  3. Alignment born of a recognition for the importance of maintaining a proactive approach in a reactive environment;
  4. Accountability born of seeing the value of being accountable and holding others accountable to the commitments made.

A constructive coaching leadership style follows from developing these four attributes allowing a leader to facilitate the creation of organisation cultures that engenders engagement and accountability and leads to greater outcomes.

Such a leadership can be seen as the creation and maintenance of willing followers. We use the the"Leadership Cycle" model - see diagram - as the framework for achieving that goal. Based on Talking About's "Effective Conversation" model, the cycle is focused on creating engagement and generating and managing commitments to ensure accountability. This leads to the achievement of the desired outcomes thereby demonstrating the value of the shared meaning and closing the loop. Without this closure, leaders may be able to initially create willingness in their followers but will struggle to maintain it.

Effective coaching requires trust. It also requires an useful understanding of the human condition and human relationships. These are also prerequisites for leaders who want to work through the trust paradigm using constructive styles. The only key difference between leading constructively and coaching others lies in whose agenda is most important. In the coaching relationship, it is clearly the client's agenda. In a leadership relationship, it is that of the leader and the community they lead.

If you are someone who is attracted to the idea of leading others through the use of coaching techniques, then we can tailor our Professional Coach Program to suit those needs.

If you wish to undertake our program with a view to becoming a "Coaching Leader", in addition to learning the ontological coaching skills and having the opportunity to gain a Professional Certification through ANZI Coaching, you will also learn how to be a constructive coaching leader through:

  • An understanding of the Human Synergistics circumplex and how this relates to leadership;
  • A deeper understanding of how to create authority through trust and trust's role in influencing others;
  • The differences between leading and managing people;
  • An understanding of the "Leadership Cycle" and how your patterns of conversation can support and nourish this cycle; and
  • How to apply this approach to your particular situation.

There is no doubt that relational skills such as leadership are best learnt through experience. By enrolling in our program and coupled with our unique approach of providing a supervising coach for each student, participants get the opportunity to learn the coaching distinctions required to be an effective coaching leader together with someone to coach you through your experiences to maximise your learning.

You can find out more about:

Click here to return to Talking About's Professional Coach Program page