What is Leadership Coaching?

When you ask leaders about their biggest challenge, many give the same answer, ‘navigating complexity and uncertainty’. It’s unrealistic to expect them to have all the answers. The conventional command and control model of leadership, still prevalent, is no longer effective. With constantly shifting expectations and widespread employee disengagement, leaders are searching for better ways to guide their teams.

In this article, we’ll reveal how leadership coaching is the key to reinventing organizations for our complex, ever changing world. Read on as we explore the journey from a staggering 70% of employees feeling disengaged to a workforce that’s all in.

First, let’s consider the evolution of a leader.

As employees, success usually means working solo and having the right answers. It’s crunching numbers and solving problems, not so much life and social skills. This fosters a need for perfection and control. But as they ascend the ranks, these individuals are catapulted into leadership positions.

A new skill set is suddenly required and here’s the disconnect. The technical skills that got them to their current position may not be what takes them to the next level. Sure, some leadership development programs may help, but they tend to focus on the outside in; theories, concepts, knowledge, essentially, what to think.

Change however needs to come from the inside out. Leaders need to know how to think and how to feel. Leadership coaching starts on the inside with self-awareness. Each of us carries an internal map, shaped by years of socialization, a mental guide for navigating life’s complexities. We’re usually unaware of its existence, much like a fish oblivious to the water it swims in.

It’s difficult to gain perspective when immersed in our own thoughts. But through perceptive questioning, the leadership coach exposes the patterns and assumptions by which the leader operates. As they examine these uncovered thought patterns with curiosity, the coach may ask:

·      What hidden narratives are driving you?

·      How do they affect your leadership?

·      Does your internal map guide you where you want to go?

Now, armed with awareness, the leader has the power to re-route and rewrite the story. Choice means saying yes to beliefs that serve and empower you, and a respectful no to the beliefs that don’t. So, awareness leads to choice, which in turn leads to transformation, no longer beholden to reactionary impulses or limiting beliefs.

The leader gains agency over their thought patterns. They start creatively exploring perspectives. Their cognition, emotions, and purpose all in tune. Transformation starts within, then naturally radiates to teams and entire organizations. An inclusive culture emanates from the leader, who allows others to shine.

Instead of clinging to outdated notions of top-down control, leadership becomes about unlocking the potential of every team member. The leader acts as an architect, creating systems to support and motivate others. And gives every team member a sense of purpose.

ACT stands for Awareness, Choice, and Transformation. It’s how we approach everything we do. Slowly we start to see changes. No longer concerned with having all the answers, leaders cultivate a culture of listening and honest inquiry, embracing feedback as an opportunity for growth. Saying no to micromanagement, they empower self-directed teams who feel safe and poised to make swift, informed decisions.

And not bogged down by details, leaders have space and time to respond rather than react, and they maintain a broad perspective on success. In a world at the mercy of relentless change, leadership coaching isn’t just a guiding framework, but a mindset, a philosophy, and a way of life. Embracing the principles of inside out coaching brings us back to humanity and authenticity in our leadership, one conversation at a time.

Whether you’re training to become a leadership coach, business coach, or executive coach, ACT Leaderships International Coaching Federation accredited Leadership Coach Certification program in partnership with Brown University represents the standard for leadership and performance coaching. The comprehensive programs are designed to cater to diverse learning preferences with options for online, hybrid, and in-person formats across multiple time zones. Our curriculum includes ICF Level 1 and Level 2 certifications, ensuring that you receive the highest quality of coach training available. Join our global community of coaches and take the next step in your professional journey with ACT.

ACT is an internationally recognized coaching, leadership development and consulting company known for its commitment to leadership and performance coaching, valuing its long term partnerships with Brown University, the intelligence communities and its loyal and devoted diverse community.