Leadership and Coaching

At the session “Peer Coaching and Facilitating Groups” at Coaching Connections on 11 July we explored coaching as a leadership practice and here are some of the quotes and theories referenced during the session.

“Coaching is the leadership practice that makes leadership style work…. Organisations need to become more inspiring and more human in order to meet the needs of the people who populate them today. Coaching is one of the best ways to achieve this, creating greater interaction between leaders and direct reports, and thereby aligning goals and progress.” Jack Zenger and Kathleen Stinnett 2010: Coaching as a management style

The coaching style is also one of six basic leadership styles referred to in Leadership that gets results by Daniel Goleman “The coaching style focuses more on personal development than on immediate work-related tasks. It works well when employees are already aware of their weaknesses and want to improve, but not when they are resistant to changing their ways”.

The other styles of leadership referred to in Goleman’s Havard Business Review 2000 article are:

  • the coercive style
  • the authoritative style
  • the affiliative style
  • the demoncratic style
  • the pacesetting style

A CIPD literature definition of leadership was also shared in the Coaching Connections session:

Leadership is the “capcaity to influence people, by means of personal attributes/behaviours, to achieve a common goal”

We also referenced House’s Path-Goal Theory in which the leader helps clarify the “path” to the worker’s goal , and it is interesting for coaches to reflect on the regularity in which a reference to goals appears in leadership theory and literature.

Finally we shared the results of a study by Falbe, C.M. and Yukl, G. (1992) Acad. Man. J. 35 to consider “What leadership tactics have proven to be the most effective in the workplace?”

The top three tactics out of nine were:

  • inspiration
  • consultation
  • personal appeals

All classified as “soft” rather than rational tactics.

Leadership at this Coaching Connections was explored in the context of embedding peer coaching in to a leadership development course with a focus on six steps:

  • individual goal setting
  • exploration of effective peer coaching
  • teaching of basic coaching skills
  • peer coaching in practice
  • evaluation
  • coaching embedded in organisational culture

I believe that as well as employing and working with a professional, external coach we can gain great benefit from integrating coaching skills in to our everyday working lives. In this article I have referenced an approach to embedding peer coaching in to a learning environment, and aim to run future training sessions on this for experienced coaches. If you are interested to find out more please email me: jayne@js-coaching.co.uk.

Future blog posts will develop the theme of peer coaching further and also consider self coaching and the manager as coach.

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