A Research Paper By Kalliopi Koufopoulou, Life Coach, UNITED KINGDOM
How Coaching Leadership Style Could Support Leaders?
After working in the corporate environment for more than 22 years, I have met several management or leadership styles and approaches. People from different backgrounds tried to create a team based on the values of their values and the values of the company. I have met leaders that had a talent for inspiring their teams, but also managers who were excellent at executing, but who haven’t worked on the soft skills needed for being successful leaders. Being a leader myself for several years, gave me the opportunity to understand how complicated it could be to become a real leader.
By introducing myself to coaching and joining ICA, I realized that using coaching in leadership can be a very important parameter to becoming a great leader.
In this paper, my aim is to answer the question of how Coaching Leadership Style could support leaders to become more effective, using my personal knowledge and experience but also making my research on the topic.
The basic points to analyze are:
- What is leadership?
- What are the characteristics of a successful leader?
- What is coaching?
- What are the characteristics of a successful coach?
- What is the coaching leadership style?
Definition of Coaching Leadership Style
What is Leadership?
Leadership according to Wikipedia, both as a research area and as a practical skill, encompasses the ability of an individual, group, or organization to “lead”, influence, or guide other individuals, teams, or entire organizations.
Leadership is not a rank or a position. It is a choice – a choice to look after the person to the left of us and the person to the right of us. Simon Sinek.
According to Simon Sinek, a leader could be a member of a team that can inspire or support his colleagues and not only the person that has a managerial position in the company. This is of great importance, as it shows that no matter the authority, someone can have the skill to become a leader.
Using those two quotes, the conclusion can be that Leadership is a skill that either someone has as a talent, or he/she can obtain, by studying and working with himself or herself.
What Are the Characteristics of an Effective Leader?
What Is Coaching?
Coaching is a unique methodology most often used for bringing about change. It has its roots in a wide range of theories and philosophies and blends the best concepts from business, psychology, philosophy, sports, and spirituality. But, while coaching borrows heavily from those practices, it is a distinctly different support role to that of a consultant, therapist, or trainer. As a coach, you will be an advocate, a sounding board, a cheerleader, an accountability partner, a truth-teller, and a supporter. ICA definition from the learning site.
Learning about coaching is a door that opens to those that are in front of it. Can be used in the everyday life, as a way of interacting with people. It’s about giving space to your relatives, friends or colleagues, and clients, to express themselves and to support them to find their own way to achieve their goals or overcome their obstacles.
What Are the Characteristics of a Successful Coach?
What Is the Coaching Leadership Style?
Coaching Leadership Style is a leadership theory that “supports and challenges colleagues intending to help them achieve individual development goals” Berg & Karlsen 2016.
Using this style of leadership, you may replace the “I say, you do” approach with the phrase “what do you suggest”? Eden Project,2018
Characteristics of the Coaching Leadership Style
360 – degree feedback is provided by both management and the team. All staff is encouraged to take constructive feedback and act upon it.
Leaders become effective communicators, sharing, engaging, and listening to the team.
Employees are given the opportunity to use their strengths and grow their skills and are credited with their successes.
Leaders help their teams visualize the goals behind what they are doing, serving as both guides and observers. They are comfortable letting go and allowing individuals to run with the work.
Micromanagement is discouraged. Instead, the Coaching Leadership Style leader is motivated to enable others to succeed and reach personal and group goals.
Empathy and awareness are clear in the leader’s actions and communication.
Collaboration, support, and guidance are evident in the coaching style.
Autocratic leadership is replaced by a focus on bringing out the best in people, guiding them toward goals, and overcoming obstacles.
Personal and professional development of employees is encouraged.
There are more opportunities for individual growth and creative thinking.
Examples of Coaching Leadership
A great example of a Coaching leader is Mahatma Gandhi who empowered an entire nation by raising their motivation and self-belief.
Microsoft: When Satya Nadella took over as CEO at Microsoft, the company lost its momentum. The culture was stagnating, and the managerial mindset was fixed. Nadella shifted their mindsets from knowing it all to learning it all. He began by talking and listening to everybody and showed his ability to support rather than judge. Staff was encouraged to learn from mistakes rather than avoid or hide from them.
The advantages of using the Coaching Leadership Style are the following:
Leaders are more relationship-oriented with greater self-awareness
Employees spend more time sharing their knowledge and engaging in growth and development.
Less intention to leave by employees
There is more constructive and less judgmental two-way communication and collaboration
More creative environment
Leaders that use coaching can help employees to find solutions to their own problems.
Coaching Leadership Style: Effective and Efficient for Businesses
Coaching leaders can introduce ways of aligning personal and organizational goals and in the meantime developing shared accountability and success. Eden Project 2018
Using a coaching style of leadership can be very effective and efficient for companies and the leaders themselves. It’s quite time-consuming for a leader, to use pure coaching in daily interaction with the team members, but this is also the way to build teams based on trust, self-awareness, and self-motivation.
From my personal experience as a leader, I realized that spending time with the team members and listening to them, are two crucial parameters in order to be a successful leader. It’s very easy to execute and spread the message, but it’s much more difficult to make the team members, the ambassadors of that message.
This is a safe path to success!