Working With a Leadership Coach to Enhance Your Success

Sunday, 29 October 2017: 3:25 PM

Majorie Maurer, MSN
Xcellero Leadership, Inc., Naperville, IL, USA

Leadership coaching is a means to provide ongoing, formative feedback to an individual. Studies consistently show that coaching is the most effective means for achieving sustainable growth, change and development in an individual (or in a group or an organization). Such an approach is coaching by development, which helps people solve problems on their own. The coach listens to understand another’s feelings, values and way of thinking about a particular problem, rather than listening only to understand the nature of that problem. The coach invites exploration and supports discovery, rather than giving advice and suggestions. Finally, the coach helps the individual to grow a capacity for new options, rather than relying on what the individual already knows.

Leadership coaching is flexible and individualized, ensures a mutual understanding of goals and objectives, and uses objective statements and standards in order to measure performance. Effective coaching means ongoing and consistent communication, using strategies such as reflection, paraphrasing and “I” statements. Once a plan is developed, the coach is there to help the leader to execute. Plan execution means understanding the mission and values of the organization and how they relate to the leader’s role. Coaches help with alternative solutions in the event the original plan does not unfold as expected. The coach has check points along the way to follow-up in a formal way with the leader. 

The most effective coaches listen, observe, and can customize an approach to an individual leader’s needs. A good leadership coach assumes about their leader (until proven otherwise): they are capable people with natural inborn strengths, they are resourceful and able to navigate their own lives, they are whole people whose weaknesses are only underdeveloped strengths, they are trustworthy people with good intentions, and they want to learn, to grow and be successful in their existing or new leadership role. This session will define leadership coaching and discuss how to work with a leadership coach.