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Top 10 Ways to Master the Coaching Leadership Style in 2024

Coaching leadership style requires a leader to act as a mentor and coach to their team members. The coach helps develop and enhance the skills of their team members and helps everyone reach their full potential. These are supportive leaders who do not micromanage and provide assistance without any terms and conditions. As a result, team members feel validated and safe in the office environment. 

They are able to take risks and take on challenges, but more on that later. This article discusses the key skills of coaching leadership style, its pros and cons, and some challenges that coaching leaders face in their journey. 

What is the Coaching Leadership Style?

The coaching leadership style revolves around a leader recognizing and then appreciating the strengths of their workers and employees. It also involves recognizing the drawbacks of each team member and then motivating them to do better. It is a coaching leadership style that helps employees succeed. 

Who Defined Coaching Leadership?

The term was defined by Kenneth Blanchard and Paul Hershey in the early 1960s. Although less relevant in the past decades, the term is highly popular today. It has a positive connotation and is encouraged because it allows employees to stay motivated and get the work done. 

Additionally, coaching leadership allows the development of new skills and instills a non-toxic company culture. 

How To Become A Coaching Leader?

Coaching leaders are not born, they are made. If you want to help others reach their full potential and become a leader everyone respects, here is how you can master the coaching leadership style. 

  • Identify the Problems or Issues in the Status Quo
  • Keep the Right Balance Between Praise and Criticism
  • Increase Interaction With Individual Employees
  • Adopt a Compassionate and Thought Leadership Style
  • Take Accountability for Your Team
  • Invest in Team-Building Exercises
  • Designate and Delegate Tasks Appropriately
  • Live an Inspiring Life
  • Let Employees Follow Their Pace
  • Encourage Emerging Leaders in Your Mix

1. Identify the Problems or Issues in the Status Quo

Coaching leaders do not just follow the status quo. In other words, they are not the toxic corporate employees that people are used to seeing. 

These leaders will scan the office environment and recognize loopholes. They will categorize these issues into small-scale and large-scale and deal with them systematically.

2. Keep the Right Balance Between Praise and Criticism

Oftentimes, leaders criticize their employees a lot. In their heads, they are doing the right thing because they believe that this rough behavior will toughen up their employees and make them work harder. In reality, this does the complete opposite. 

Coaching leaders should therefore praise their employees on a regular basis. This boosts their confidence and makes them work more diligently. 

3. Increase Interaction With Individual Employees

a one-on-one relationship with your employees

It is important to interact with employees in groups. However, it is equally important to have a one-on-one relationship with your employees. 

Make sure you have dedicated time slots where you call your employees, ask them about their day-to-day activities, inquire about their health, and ask them whether they are facing any problems. This will instill trust in leadership

4. Adopt a Compassionate and Thought Leadership Style

Coaching goes hand in hand with compassion. In order to help others, you have to be kind and empathetic enough to understand their concerns and problems. Make sure you treat your employees as humans rather than being numbers on your list. 

Thought Leadership is based on industry perspective and expertise. It allows you to offer unique guidance, inspire and influence others. 

5. Take Accountability for Your Team

Whether it is new or old employees, remember that everyone is prone to mistakes. As a team leader, you have to back up your employees and stand up for them, especially in front of the higher management. 

Providing this shield to them will make them more innovative and creative and will build up their confidence. 

6. Invest in Team-Building Exercises

The best types of organizations are where teams can work together and gel in as a group. Make sure you take out your team to official and unofficial lunches, have fun activities with them, and make them engage in thought-provoking exercises. 

All this will help the team bond with each other and free each other from prejudices and biases. 

7. Designate and Delegate Tasks Appropriately

Leaders should exercise equity more than they exercise equality. When delegating tasks, make sure you do not simply divide the tasks. Delegate in a way that every employee gets a chance to learn and showcase their skills. 

Delegative leadership allows you to develop trust and give your employees a chance to deliver results. 

8. Live an Inspiring Life

Most people look up to their coaches and try to replicate their behavior. Imagine you are a coach of a swimming team. If you are unfit yourself, arrive late to sessions, or have a laid-back attitude, expect your team to be the same way. 

As coaches, you have to have a higher standard for yourself so that everyone else in your team can rise to the occasion. 

9. Let Employees Follow Their Pace

Not every employee will learn all the important skills in a month. Some will take months, others can take years. The skill is to realize potential and give everyone the chance to prove themselves. 

Some people are slow learners, but once they learn a particular skill, they do a better job than everyone else combined. As a coaching leader, make sure you do not micromanage them.

10. Encourage Emerging Leaders in Your Mix

Having good leadership in your company can greatly encourage morale. From boosting up the confidence of employees to motivating them to work harder, this can facilitate your coaching leadership style. 

Start from testing employees on random tasks, filter them out based on their performance, give leadership positions, and see whether they are up to the task. 

Also Read: Tips to Identify Emerging Leaders

What Are the Benefits of Coaching Leadership Style?

  1. Increased Work Productivity
  2. Creativity in the Team Members
  3. Positive Work Culture
  4. Individuals Empowerment
  5. Improved Communication
  6. Enhanced Performance

1. Increased Work Productivity

Benefits of Coaching Leadership

Your work trajectory is effected and hindered when employees face problems and there is no one to solve them. A coaching leader helps keep things going smoothly. This enhances workplace productivity.

2. Creativity in the Team Members

Coaching leadership style facilitates free thinking and creativity in the team members. Coaches and mentors back up their teams even when there are issues. This helps team members work from a place of confidence and not fear. 

3. Positive Work Culture

When the leader helps everyone around the office, others follow suit. Imagine a workplace where the leader is fixated on their own growth. Do you think others would not follow their example? They certainly would, thus resulting in a toxic work environment. 

4. Individuals Empowerment

Another advantage of coaching leadership is that it empowers individuals and gives them confidence to give their best. Coaching leaders are also great at delegation. 

They get the work done and ensure that everyone feels like they have a stake in the company. 

5. Improved Communication

Coaching leaders are neither feared, nor hated. They are liked by everyone in the office, which is why individuals feel comfortable discussing issues with them. 

Team members realize that they will not be rebuked if they are facing problems in the workplace. This helps open up channels of communication. 

6. Enhanced Performance

When there is a supportive and positive culture in the workplace, you can expect everyone to show increased productivity. You can expect a greater revenue and growth when everyone feels validated in the workplace. 

What Are the Challenges of Coaching Leadership?

1. Unqualified Leaders Who Lack Coaching Skills

Individuals who want to coach others without having the necessary skill set to help others will fail at their jobs and end up wasting everyone else’s time as well. Moreover, if you are putting up a facade of helping others, you will end up helping no one. 

2. Differences in Opinion can Hinder Creativity

Some coaching leaders have the tendency to impose their opinions on others. Although they are trying to help their team members, they end up doing the opposite. When people are constantly told what to do, they may feel micromanaged and may not appreciate the help. 

3. Time-Sensitive Priorities are not dealt with

There are some tasks that require individuals to take the lead and be self-sufficient. Having a coaching leader may make team members too dependent on their leaders. When there are time-sensitive projects, a coaching leadership style can lead to unnecessary details. 

4. May instill false confidence

When managers or leaders are always there to back up employees, it can sometimes limit the self-awareness of individuals. They may be more prone to mistakes because they feel like someone will always back them up, no matter what. 

5. Leader Can Not Prioritize Their Own Work

A leader has only so many hours to work. When leader’s primary goal is to coach and help others, they can seldom work on themselves or their own growth. This can be problematic when the growth of the leader affects the growth of the company. 

Key Skills Needed for Coaching Leadership

1. Goal-Focused Personality

Coaching leaders have to look at the big picture. They have to realize that coaching and mentoring others may require some extra time, but it is worth in the end. If they only focus on short-term goals, they will never be able to adopt this leadership style. 

Also read: Top 12 Leadership Styles and Why Do You Need to Know Yours

2. Open to Feedback

Not everyone responds to your style the same way. If you adopt the same style for all your team members, you may not be able to help everyone.

Coaching leaders need to be open to feedback. They need to listen to their team members and assess how each of them wants to be mentored. This will generate the most positive results.

3. Great Communication Skills

You can have the greatest ideas on the planet, but you will not be able to achieve growth if you do not have good communication skills. Make sure you work on your verbal and non-verbal body language, so you can communicate the most in the least amount of time. 

4. Empathy and Understanding

A coaching leader who lacks empathy can not help anyone reach their potential. These leaders need to realize that every team member has their own needs and requirements. They are all individuals and not just another number. With empathy and understanding, a coaching leader can help explore the potential of all team members. 

5. Professional Development Course or Training

Contrary to popular belief, coaching leadership style seldom comes naturally to individuals. You have to make a conscious effort to coach and mentor others. A great way to deal with diverse kinds of people and help everyone reach their potential is to join a leadership training program like Best Diplomats.

Pros and Cons of a Coaching Leadership Style

Helps improve communication between all the teamsIt is time-consuming and requires a lot of energy
Increases self-awareness in the leaderCostly since coaches have to do double the work
Allows for enhanced team performanceRequires training as the style requires a focus on minute details
Increased motivation for all team membersCan be energy-draining for the leader
Facilitates a positive work culture

Coaching Leadership Style Proponents

Coaching leadership style is advocated by a number of people. Here are some popular speakers who speak in favor of this popular style. 

1. Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek, a British-American speaker, and author, is known for his amazing book: Start with Why. The main theme revolves around the benefits and advantages of coaching leadership. He uses the analogy of a conductor in a symphony orchestra to explain the concept. 

Just like the conductor in the orchestra helps other musicians reach their full potential, the job of a coaching leader is to help their team members perform optimally. 

2. John Maxwell

Maxwell is a speaker, author, and leadership expert and has written more than 70 books. As a proponent of coaching leadership style, he focuses on team-building exercises as a key to success. His book ‘the 21 irrefutable laws of Leadership is one of the bestsellers in America. 

3. Stephen Covey

An American educator and author, Stephen Covey, has sold over 25 million copies of the book ‘The 7 Habits of highly effective people’. He believes that the best way to help and develop people are to adopt a coaching leadership style. To help train individuals, he has also started the Covey Leadership Center and the Covey Coaching Model.

Develop a Coaching Leadership Style With the Best Diplomats

Coaching Leadership

Coaching leadership style seldom comes instinctively to people. Leaders often do not know where to start or how to compel their employees to work harder. However, this can be easily taught. 

With Best Diplomats, you get a chance to meet some of the most brilliant leaders out there. Their expertise and professionalism will enhance your sense of self and will motivate you to adopt a coaching leadership style. In helping others, you will soon be able to reach your own potential. 

Click to learn more about the programs offered by Best Diplomats


What is coaching vs leadership?

A leader will manage goals and strategy and will implement goals. A leader will also delegate tasks and make sure everyone is following their orders. 
However, a coach will do all that, but also motivate and help people reach their full potential. They are supportive and prioritize relationship building. 

What is the best leadership style?

Of all the leadership styles, the most popular leadership styles are transformative leadership style and inclusive leadership style. 
The status quo demands that leaders are inclusive and look for the betterment of the status quo. Coaching leadership is popular because it helps in the growth of the entire team.

How can I become a coaching leader?

Coaching is not simply giving advice and suggestions. It is to back people up when they make mistakes and support them where necessary. 
You can become a coaching leader by joining programs and leadership training that help you enhance your communication and public speaking skills. 

Are coaching leaders good for an organization?

Coaching leaders can help improve an organization in the following ways:
1) Help make the workplace environment more positive and less competitive
2) Help bring new and less experienced team members to speed
3) Facilitates individual and collective growth of the team members

Oleksandra Mamchii

Working as a academic lead at Best Diplomats.

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