How to Bring Leadership Coaching to Your Workplace

By Ekaterina Rozanova and Kalyna Miletic

December 7th, 2021

Chiefly - How tech leaders can succeed with remote employees & lead effectively in a digital world.

What is leadership coaching?

Leadership coaching is a personalized approach that works to maximize performance and increase leadership development in the workplace. Some of the many benefits of leadership coaching include: 
  •  Increased productivity 
  •  More effective strategies to meet organizational objectives 
  • ​Better employee engagement and team functioning 
  • ​Stronger workplace relationships 
  • ​Increased job satisfaction 
  • ​Developing more effective ways to provide feedback
Leadership coaching shares many benefits with other types of coaching in one significant way: it creates a wide-reaching ripple effect. 

How does leadership coaching create a lasting impact?

“Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them to learn, rather than teaching them.” – Timothy Gallwey.
Although one of the main aspects of leadership coaching is removing roadblocks to increase performance, that is not all; The indirect impact of leadership coaching should not be overlooked.  

Breakthrough performance and resilience gives companies a competitive edge, especially when operating in an environment that is fueled by constant change. What drives this change further is a “coaching culture”. This simply means supporting your employees so that they learn new skills and become greater assets to the company.

As soon as eminent companies such as IBM recognized that managers must be able to coach their employees and each other, they included coaching in their management development programs. Beverley Patwell, one of the world's foremost experts on organizational development and leading meaningful change, also emphasized in 2013 that “in this new world, [organizations] will increasingly need to incorporate coaching as a key leadership and management practice within their own leadership cultures". 

In general, employees who are coached to performance rather than managed to performance are more committed and invested to themselves, their work, and the company. The important principle is that successful coaching adds value to employees who then add more value to their respective workplace, team, and organization. A coaching culture flows from the top which is why it is crucial to be implemented by managers.  

What can I do as a manager to create a coaching culture?

Chiefly- creating a coaching culture as a manager

To get started, we suggest: 

1. Make sure your conceptions about coaching are correct

There are many misconceptions about what coaching is, so it is important to educate yourself and your team so that you understand the significance and what you should expect to get out of it. If you don’t have a clear definition of what coaching is, you need to create one so that everyone else in your organization is on the same page. This step is critical when developing a vision and purpose to implementing coaching.

You can learn more about the common coaching misconceptions in our previous blog post.

2. Reflect on your needs  

What issues do you want to address and resolve? What does your company already offer to its employees? What style of coaching would your company require? What is your budget? Do any of your existing programs target a specific issue? These are all important questions to consider before speaking with a coaching company.  

3. Lead by example

Find a coach for yourself so that you witness the benefits first-hand. Coaching allows you to not only maximize your own performance, but that of your organization. There is no causal relationship between leadership and the number of years spent in a company. Rather, leadership must be learned and honed, and coaching provides the safe space needed for growing and learning. Although coaching is becoming more popularized as a proactive measure, there are still perceptions that it is a reactive measure. This misperception can damage a trusting relationship with an employee which is why it is important to demonstrate to them that they are not going through the program alone.

4. Bring in outside training

To successfully integrate a coaching culture, you must engage expert coaches to train your individuals. Some companies try to incorporate what they call “coaching”, which is not actual coaching. It is important that coaches have training and experience so that they are more efficient and quicker at impacting their clients. At the end of the day, the quicker an employee improves and implements what they’ve learned, the better the company’s competitive advantage. Outside training will also help your company to better determine the impact of the training.

Various ideas may come to mind when you think of coaching. For example, consulting, mentoring, therapy, etc. Read more about the differences between these services and professional coaching here.  

5. Practice in small ways daily

Implement what you learn as soon as possible. If something doesn’t change your behavior, that means you haven’t learned it yet. Training, regular feedback, evaluations, mentorship programs, team leadership opportunities, and even interactions with peers are some situations where you can integrate your coaching training. Studies suggest that within a week, people forget 90 percent of new information. Although it may be daunting to implement something new, immediate reinforcement is crucial. The next step after reinforcement is repetition; this is proven to ingrain these new behaviors which may then form into a habit. 

6. Hold managers accountable for developing employees

One of the most important steps is to tie coaching into your company's mission. First, create a structured process with clear goals for how to incorporate coaching into your workplace, making sure you have the proper time and resources. Then reward managers who successfully meet and exceed those goals. One method to creating a structured process is through setting specific and measurable desired results: Objectives and Key Results (OKRs).  

7. Build a routine

Set out time in your week that strictly has to do with developmental needs of your employees. Coaching consists of real-time development of all team members to all other team members and it is about consistently trying to develop your skills and behavior. One example is scheduling one-on-one calls with your employees to speak about any challenges they face, how they feel about their work, if you can help them, etc. Another common example is hosting weekly or daily stand-up meetings with a group of employees to have an open discussion about new findings from the coaching session that have helped their work significantly, their progress, etc.

8. Continuously improve through feedback and ongoing coaching

Build in checkpoints to gain feedback from your team on their experience and the extent to which the program has met their individual needs and goals. Simultaneously, track the impact of the program. Then, measure and evaluate the goals you set out when starting this coaching program by digging into the difference it has made in their management and leadership actions, organizational objectives, and their own lives.  

Click here to learn more about measuring the success of a coaching program. 
Moving forward, as rapid change becomes the norm, individual resilience and performance will be crucial to a team and organization’s success. Leadership coaching is the way to achieve this because it targets the individuals challenges and opportunities; individually measures developmental outcomes; and focuses on applicable real time scenarios on the job daily.

Chiefly is here to help your executives and managers become better remote leaders with our leadership development tool that uses machine learning and coaching to increase leadership performance by 10x.  

If you’re a tech leader and want to bring Chiefly to your people, we’re happy to chat.   
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