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WHAT IS LEADERSHIP COACHING AND MENTORING?

There are many definitions.  This is my personal view and I’ll talk about it as coaching for the sake of simplicity.

Coaching is a personal and professional developmental activity whereby you, as a coachee, participate in a meaningful coaching relationship with a professional leadership coach to focus on achieving a specific outcome.

It takes place over a period of time often in the form of meetings or telephone conversations and most often a coach will ask simple but insightful questions and related activities. The outcomes are focused on self-exploration, reflection, personal development and growth that brings about a positive change for the coachee in achieving their desired outcome.

As a result, it is very often goal-oriented.  This means that you as a coachee will have a specific outcome in mind that you would like to explore in a completely confidential way.  Your coach will support you to reflect, think and find that answers for yourself so that you can take appropriate actions.  It can really help you to build confidence.

It is a key part of talent development programmes within organisations.  These help people develop and grow into leadership positions.  It can also be a way to support your own personal learning with a situation for example, where you might be having challenges with another person or a situation where exploring this with an independent person who has your interests at heart would be helpful.

Anyone can benefit from coaching.  A skillful coach will be able to help you focus on the things that are really important for you and can guide you in developing your own strategies to help you achieve your outcomes.  They can help you find ways to change or modify your perspective, your behaviours, help you to become more self-aware, and find routes to success that you might not previously have realised.

Coaching is more than a conversation and the subject matter is largely focused on you.  Coaches don’t have to have expertise in the area you need support with, because they have expertise in coaching.  Done well, it is a partnership with a strong bond and high levels of trust between coach and coachee. 

 

A truly effective coaching relationship is two way, where both coach and coachee are learning together.  Generally, coaches have the following attributes:

  1. They have high levels of integrity.

  2. They are trusting and can be trusted to act in your interest.

  3. They have high levels of self-awareness.

  4. Have high levels of emotional intelligence and empathy.

  5. They follow a strict code of professional conduct and actively engage in supervision for their own practice.

  6. They are patient, kind, and compassionate.

  7. Often analytical and skilled at helping people to unlock ‘stuckness’ – helping people to look at the world clearly, sometimes with a different perspective.

  8. Want to help and support you to achieve your outcomes.