Leadership process can be a very lonely one at times. The dilemmas faced by leaders in taking major decisions can be very challenging. It requires qualities of head and heart far beyond the domain knowledge of the leader.
Leader needs to have someone who has professional understanding of human mind, life & culture and business to facilitate him in such critical decisions. And share this lonely journey by being a good sounding board.
Moreover, when leaders get into higher roles that are far more complex than what they were handling, they need help. Despite being exceptional in their demonstrated competencies and their accomplished past, they might need help in preparing themselves to go to the next higher level. For people who have been promoted or who are new to their roles, executive and business coaching can prove to be a support mechanism.
Human mind and group life is extremely complex at professional, psychological, social and philosophical level. Leadership Coach is trained precisely to bring to bear his/her understanding of the same to enable leader to lead effectively by taking wise critical decisions having huge financial and human implications for the corporate.
The issues which a coach can facilitate in leaders range from philosophical to business, macro to micro. The effectiveness of coaching is judged by results at the bottom-line as well as the morale of the team being led.
Coaching has its advantage relative to training that it can be set up easily, there is flexibility of timing and more intense one on one work can be done.
It involves a confidential and extensive sharing of concerns of the leader and his/her assessment of the situation. The initial one or two sessions are spent in understanding the leader and his strengths and areas of concern besides building a rapport and trusting relationship between the coach and coachee.
Once the ball is set rolling and a good working relationship has been established, deeper concerns are explored and actions required are arrived at by the leader himself. There is no direct solution given to the leader, rather the same is facilitated by coach.
Further work is done at deeper levels of psycho-socio-philosophical levels of the leader to enable him to take most challenging of actions extending his/her boundaries as well as team’s boundaries, having a direct bearing on the bottom-line of the corporate.
Sometimes the coaching is very specific to the needs identified in the leader by his/her organization such as Strategic Thinking or Assertiveness or effective delegation or Interpersonal effectiveness. Then the entire process is geared to address the same and results measured only on the selected parameter.
Many tools like psychometrics and approaches like Appreciative Inquiry and frameworks such as Transactional Analysis or Leadership Diamond ( Koestenbaum) etc may be used in the process which is primarily systemic in its orientation.
All the key stakeholders like employees, shareholders and customers are kept in mind in assessing the impact of leadership while coaching.
“Coaches are meant to engage you in a Socratic dialogue, guiding you to find your own answers”