Coaches provide an anchor in a leadership development process that can yield an exponential return during the coaching journey. The leadership development process can be challenging for some leaders and followers. Leadership development requires a commitment to a growth mindset and agility practices that welcome variability on the journey toward growth. Coaching practices reinforce the structures needed to facilitate this growth in a clients development. Leaders and followers should grow in their relationship, change, and diversity skills. There is an increased need for leaders and followers to be agile. Specifically, how leaders and followers relate with their colleagues and practice change in their industries while approaching this all with a global mindset can inform their agility practices. Leadership coaches are armed to meet clients where they are while pushing their practice with probing questions that ignite growth. Coaches have a practical way of supporting this process for the client with tools and approaches that are flexible in implementation, especially within a leadership development program.
Coaches can establish a collaborative process in which the client informs their leadership development goals. Coaching can be done through a pluralistic or integrated approach in which the coach combines the intrapersonal, interpersonal, and systems domains to inform their practice (Palmer & Whybrow, 2019). The coach can establish a productive working relationship with the client that can foster trust, leading to a willingness to engage in challenges and take risks. The ability to explore and stretch as a client is vital in leadership development and can lead to growth. Depending on the client's needs, the coach can design the format necessary for the clients development journey, e.g., number of coaching sessions, frequency, in-person, and virtual. This flexibility, tailored and designed with the client in mind, is essential in leadership development as it compliments where the client is on their journey.
Are you ready for Leadership Coaching?
Coaching is a value add for anyone willing to embrace change and growth. Everyone can benefit from a coach to guide them through various aspects of their professional and personal lives. Coaches do not have the answers but function as facilitators in pushing the thinking and practices of the individuals being coached. The coach's ability to influence what is drawn out of a client while ensuring they remain aligned to their intended goal is the coach's function. Individuals interested in being stretched in this way personally and professionally in a safe coaching relationship can succeed. Clients going through transitions or wrestling with their ability to be self- directed can benefit from coaching. Coaching can be a transformational process for both the client and the coach.
Guiding into the Future
This transformational coaching industry continues to grow as coaches learn new theories and ways to enhance their best practices. Noted in 2012 as a two billion dollar industry (annually), coaching practitioners continue to inform what it looks like in practice to help adults become more self-directed in their personal and professional lives (Pappas & Jerman, 2015). As the world's changes become increasingly complex, the need for a thought partner and someone to hold one accountable for achieving their goals can be valuable for the leader and follower committed to growing. Nevertheless, this global practice is continuously evolving as new practitioners inform the industry through research and best practices. The coaching industry is on a continuum of enhancements that will contribute to further alignment in regulations about who can practice and how they can do it. The complexities of our global environment will continue to elevate the coaching profession's benefits, with new theories that guide our practices and assess viability. Coaching benefits are endless for a clients development, mainly when approached collaboratively, yielding engagement practices that reinforce exchanges across diverse communities.
Ultimately, when choosing your ideal leadership coach or guide on the side, the future holds a range of options as the coaching profession continues to grow. This reality provides the client and organizations with many options in finding their best-fit coach. Because of the growing industry, clients and organizations can also target the specialty needed in their choice coach based on their anticipated needs for support in their professional and personal journey. This broad context provides many ways in which thought partnership can be achieved as well as accountability toward achieving goals with the best-fit coach guiding to support actions toward growth.
So, how are you trying to grow?
Palmer, S., & Whybrow, A. (2019). Handbook of Coaching Psychology: A Guide for Practitioners (2nd). Abingdon Oxon: Routledge
Pappas, J. P., & Jerman, J. (2015). The future of coaching among adult populations. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 2015(148), 79-91. doi:10.1002/ace.20154