Developing leaders and managers via Coaching

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This essay will help you in understanding coaching role in leadership and management development.

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Developing leaders and managers via Coaching

  1. 1. Developing leaders and managers via Coaching Leadership and management development is significant to organisation success. Organizations invest a lot on training and development of the leaders and managers as part of talent management and succession planning for many reasons such as retention and promotion. Some organizations hire new leaders; this will be discussed separately in detail in recruitment, whereas some develop their own using various methods. Furthermore, organizations use different methods and tools for the development of leaders and managers, coaching is one of the key methods used by organisations. Therefore, developing leaders and managers via coaching will be specifically discussed in this blog. It is important to understand coaching, and it will be appropriate to start with some definitions of coaching first. Lloyd (2005: pg. 133) define “coaching as the art of facilitating the unleashing of people’s potential to reach meaningful, important objectives”. Others state that “It is a relationship between the coach and the coachee, focusing on developmental discussions and on current and future performance or behaviour” (Boyatzis and Akrivou, 2006 as cited in Rezania and Lingham, 2009: pg. 578). Furthermore, Kilburg (1996) as cited in Rider (2002: pg. 233) define coaching as “helping relationship between a client (who has managerial authority and responsibility) and coach who uses a wide variety of behavioural techniques and methods to help the client achieve a mutually identified set of goals to improve his or her professional performance and personal satisfaction and consequently to improve the effectiveness of the client’s organisation within a formally defined coaching agreement”. CIPD (2013) states that “Coaching and mentoring are development techniques based on the use of one-to-one discussions to enhance an individual’s skills, knowledge or work performance”. Thus, coaching is one of the key methods used for leadership and management development because of its various advantages, so it essential to know the importance of coaching in leadership and management development. Wahab Khan Page 1
  2. 2. Developing leaders and managers via Coaching Day (2001) as cited in Vardiman et al, (2006) suggests that there are plenty of popular organisational practices such as coaching, mentoring, action learning and 360- degree feedback which are used for leadership development and human capitol. Effective coaching is one of the main core elements for developing leaders and managers (Gold et al, 2010). Furthermore, Toit (2007) suggests that coaching environment provide opportunity to offer valuable feed back from those in the leadership position. Mullins (2010) suggests that the role of existing line managers play crucial role in developing leadership skills by sharing their tacit knowledge, unwritten knowledge learnt practically on the job, with potential individuals. IRS (2003) as cited in Marchington (2011) suggests that coaching has various advantages, such as it helps in identification of personal learning and development needs, provide feedback on strength and weaknesses and a developmental tool for effective learning. This means that coaching can help in identification of weaknesses, and as a result leaders and managers can be further developed or those with high potential can be coached for leadership and managerial role. In addition, Toit (2007) argues coaching is based on active experimentation learning not on a passive methodology, and coaching as tool play a bigger role in development of senior management and most importantly when it comes to skills related to managing employees effectively. Conlon (2004) suggests that coaching is also a type of informal learning where employees with high potential can learn from various perspectives, in other words facilitating and encouraging individuals to focus their attention for further development. However, in the constant shifting world, workforce should take initiative themselves to develop their skills for effective leadership (Dalakoura, 2009). In other words, this comes from inside of individual which is called intrinsic motivation. Furthermore, Clutterbuck (2005) proposed that by polishing existing skills via coaching, talented individual can jump into next step of professional ladder. Therefore, Coaching has great importance in leadership and management development, if proper coaching methods are used, not only individuals can flourish but also organisations can obtain competitive advantage over its competitors in terms of saving cost related to recruitment and retention. So, after learning the importance of coaching, the next significant and critical part is to learn and understand various types of coaching. Ulrich (2008) suggests some types of coaching: behavioural coaching and result coaching. Behavioural coaching facilitates managers to identify and build up their approach, whereas result coaching facilitates leaders on focusing and the delivery of required results (ibid). The outcomes come out from behavioural and results coaching build up the individual leadership brand (ibid). In addition, developing middle or top level managers, external coaches in majority of the firms around the globe today use one to one coaching technique which play fundamental role in the development of leadership skills (Wilson, 2011). In other words, organisations can effectively develop middle and top level managers with the help of external coaches. In contrast, Rock and Ruth (2008) argues that study shows that external coaches Wahab Khan Page 2
  3. 3. Developing leaders and managers via Coaching had powerful influence over developing leadership skills, and bringing external coaches will dramatically increase the cost per person being coached at higher level. Internal executives and middle managers if used in coaching role can help in reducing down the massive cost (ibid). Therefore, organisations should develop their middle level managers in order to do effective coaching, that will not only reduce their cost and bring organisational change but will also develop effective leadership. Moreover, Bloch (1995) claims that plenty of firms believed that one-to-one coaching is one of the main dominant methods which is used in developing the “soft skill”, and survey conducted by Career management consultancy revealed that almost half of the respondents agreed that coaching can be used as important method in the development of future leaders. Case and Kleiner (1993) proposed that there are plenty of useful coaching techniques, and cautioned that top management should choose according to the needs of their subordinates. And keep in mind that people are individuals, and management should make sure that certain coaching technique works on one might not works on other (ibid). This means that to achieve sustainable result, management should be careful in applying coaching technique and must place proper measurement system. Styhre (2008) suggests that executive coaching is an instituted social exercise which facilitates more organized and productive self-reflection leading. Jones et al (2006) argues that executive coaching is a personalised type of learning support, helps in construction of individual’s strengths and identifying and removing the weaknesses. Furthermore, face-to-face discussion held on regular bases between coach and the coachee help not only help in observing the behaviour, but also bringing new forms of communication and information (Styhre, 2008). Furthermore, Jones et al, (2006) emphasise executive coaching technique that it could have a positive impact on leadership development, such as developing new skills, which could assist executives to accomplish tasks. Paese (ND) argues that coach must be third party who holds no internal favouritism or organisational agenda. In addition, great coaches have following roles (ibid): Catalyst: initiating action that could not have been taken by someone else. Listener: great listener and acting as a collaborator in understanding difficult issue. Facilitator: facilitating a “simple and repeatable process” for setting up a focus. Integrator: connecting ideas, people and theme. Independent in Perspective: sharing unbiased feedback, opinion and reflection in order to bring positive outcome. Honest and accurate: collecting objective and accurate information. Wahab Khan Page 3
  4. 4. Developing leaders and managers via Coaching Moreover, Xavier (2007) argues that one to one coaching is a precious tool in developing important skills, and senior leaders should coach potential employees in order to advance to the next level of leadership. Bowles et al (2007) suggest that coaching can facilitate individuals by encouraging them to exercise new leadership skills together with continuous feedback during coaching. Likewise, another important advantage of coaching is that it helps managers to stay on track or in other words to keep their focus in right direction when encountering difficult situation on the job (Landale, 2005). Therefore, the above discussion concludes that coaching is an important tool in developing leadership skills, such as senior managers can be of assistance to existing and emerging leaders by continuous feedback on the job. Rock and Donde (2008) argue that managers can be developed to coaching role by training that cannot only boost their skills but also knowledge as well, and consequently the newly developed coaches can then further develop new talent. However, managerial development depends upon the organisational culture, if learning environment inside organisation is conducive than such development can take place (ibid). Wilkins (2006) suggests that building effective teams are critical to business success, and leaders can be facilitated by coaching to build up high performing team as one leader commented that “with the support of the coach, he developed techniques to create high performing team”. An alternative approach in the development of new leaders is that executives generally like coaching, and senior executives can empower the potential people by sharing their workload with them to develop themselves (Rock and Donde, 2008). Similarly, Ideus (2005) proposed that executive leaders can be developed to gain coaching skills which will bring constructive change as they can than easily develop other senior managers on one to one coaching. Features of coaching: (Chapman, 2010) Usually coaching contains some or all of these features: 1. one-to-one - involving a coach (teacher, trainer, mentor, coach) and learner (student, trainee, sometimes called the 'coachee') 2. on-going and regular - coaching is commonly a continuing arrangement 3. personalised - by the coach for the individual learner 4. enabling - rather than prescriptive or imposed 5. adapted and adaptable - to the changing needs of the learner 6. planned - the coach normally works to a plan or structure 7. model-based - coaching tends to be based on a structured 'proven' tested concept or methodology Wahab Khan Page 4
  5. 5. Developing leaders and managers via Coaching 8. focused on aims - coaching normally works towards achieving agreed measurable outcomes or targets 9. measured and recorded - by the coach, and/or the learner 10. time-based - coaching sessions, schedules, and outcomes normally are timebound To sum up the above discussion, coaching is one of the key methods used for leadership and management development. Coaching helps in identification of weaknesses, if proper coaching methods are used, not only individuals can flourish but also organisations can obtain competitive advantage over its competitors in terms of saving cost related to recruitment and retention. Furthermore, Organisations and management should be careful in applying coaching technique and must place proper measurement system. (Note: The use of this material is free provided copyright (Khan, 2014) is acknowledged and reference or link is made to the (http://www.wahabkhan18.blogspot.com/). All information provided in this blog of Wahab Khan is provided for information purposes only. Reliance on information and material shall be at your sole risk, and the author assumes no responsibility for any errors, omissions, or damages arising to organisations and practitioners. Content and materials on this blog may not be sold, or published in any form, without permission from the Author.) . . Wahab Khan Page 5

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