Leadership can be a demanding and challenging role for many. Given the current times where work is mainly remote or hybrid, the challenges are even more. As leaders, you might often be taken aback by the expectations and requirements. And sometimes, you might not even realize if your leadership style is working or not.
The uncertainty poses the question of whether you could be doing something differently. Is there a playbook or manual for leadership? The short answer is no. However, the longer answer includes training, coaching, and mentorship to get you ready for the role or to enable you to perform better.
Leadership coaching involves
- Understanding challenges
- Developing talent and problem-solving skill sets
- Developing people skills that will empower you to lead more effectively
Most of the coaching revolves around communication skills, organizational skills, business coaching, strategy, problem-solving, and understanding the different ways you can approach a problem and lead your team.
Coaching and mentorship can take place one-on-one or in a group session. You are constantly given a lot of advice, but you absorb and genuinely understand the skills and behavioral techniques required in a leadership position during a leadership coaching session.
What is the importance of leadership coaching?
Every employee looks to their leaders for trust, support, and direction in the post-pandemic workspace. Employees feel safer when their leaders are approachable and understanding. Today, as leaders, we largely depend on virtual meetings and online chat rooms to meet with our teams. That makes it even more essential to lead effectively. This, in turn, makes leadership coaching all that more important.
Expectations from leaders are also higher than usual nowadays. With tighter budgets and constantly changing trends and technologies, leaders have to keep up with the change in demands and skills to lead. Only then is it possible to build and lead a high-performing, successful team. Coaching helps get training in how to lead in the current times rather than in a predictable environment.
A recent study showed discrepancies in self-assessment done by leaders of their coaching skills and the assessment of their teams and peers. According to Harvard Business Review, “twenty-four percent of the respondents significantly overestimated their abilities, rating themselves as above average while their colleagues ranked them in the bottom third of the group. With coaching, it becomes easier to get a different perspective on how you are leading and allows you to lead efficiently. There is an enhanced level of self-awareness, listening skills, and empathy in the way you will begin to lead your team.
Here are five benefits of leadership coaching:
1. Sharpening communication and listening skills – As leaders, it is vital to have strong communication skills. Listening is just as critical (if not more important). Communicating with empathy, understanding, and respect towards your team will make you more approachable and create a culture of openness. This will make you a better leader, improve productivity, and ultimately positively impact achieving targets and success.
2. Improving leadership skills – Improving skills like problem-solving, growth mindset, and decision-making are critical parts of leadership. A good, strong leader will have the ability to problem-solve and make decisions on your toes and under pressure. Furthermore, a good leader will also empower their team to have the right attitude and growth mindset.
3. Empower employees to be their best – As leaders, empowering, encouraging, and motivating your employees will directly and substantially impact their performance. When an organization fosters a trusted and open culture, employees are motivated to work better. According to Harvard Business Review, “compared with people at low-trust companies, people at high-trust companies report 74% less stress, 106% more energy at work, 50% higher productivity, 13% fewer sick days, 76% more engagement, 29% more satisfaction with their lives, 40% less burnout.”
4. Building resilience – As leaders, you will be dealing with fire every other day. You will have to make quick decisions that won’t always be easy. It is a stressful role, and knowing how to manage it effectively will help you personally and professionally. But no matter what, as the leader, you still have to shoulder your team’s responsibility. So increasing stress tolerance and building resilience with leadership coaching will help you be more mindful and balanced.
5. Develop strategic skills – Contributing to the big picture is another significant aspect of leadership. You will have to understand the organization’s vision, mission, goals, and existing strategy. You will be better equipped with this knowledge and what it takes to craft the way forward through leadership coaching. With this knowledge and knowing your team’s capabilities and skills, you can manage and lead more effectively.
While these are a few benefits of leadership coaching, today, it is the need of the hour because of the changing work landscape. Expectations, priorities, and requirements are very different for both employees and leaders. Furthermore, employee well-being and success are closely related. And employee well-being is closely related to how you lead. Supportive leaders will have teams doing their best work. Leaders can influence how the employee feels, morale, motivation, and productivity. When they feel like they are being heard and they matter, employees will do their best. This will also directly impact company culture, organizational branding, and employee retention.
With leadership coaching, leaders prioritize their personal and professional development. Regularly improving your skill set, knowledge and understanding will make you a more decisive leader.