From the Blog

The power of leadership coaching

Senior leaders are required to effectively guide teams and make strategic decisions that drive business success – often while navigating organisational challenges and issues. Supporting your leaders through leadership coaching can help them reach greater levels of performance. In this blog, we take a look at what leadership coaching involves and offer next steps to get you started.

Unlocking the potential of senior leaders

Providing tailored guidance and support can help leaders to recognise their strengths while addressing areas for growth. For senior management and executive teams, it can be a powerful tool helping to hone the skills they need to successfully navigate complex organisational challenges and change with confidence and clarity. 

Through one-on-one sessions, leaders can gain insights into their personal style, communication and decision-making process and develop strategies to improve them. 

Leadership coaching not only unlocks untapped potential in individuals but can foster cultural transformations within organisations. 

Leadership coaching promotes a culture of continuous learning and development, where feedback is embraced as an opportunity for growth. This models a commitment to self-improvement where employees feel inspired and empowered to also aim to reach their full potential. 

A cultural shift towards coaching drives collaboration, innovation and a shared sense of purpose, which impacts all areas of an organisation. 

Effective coaching for leaders

Guiding leaders, managers and executives to improve their capabilities and enhance their performance and effectiveness is the aim of this type of development. Like all employee coaching, it relies on:

  • a tailored program suited to the needs of the individual being coached
  • the development of clear goals
  • focusing on key behaviours to drive outcomes.

It differs from regular employee coaching in that the goals will be about developing specific qualities such as improved communication and emotional intelligence along with the decision-making and strategic-thinking skills required of leaders.

It also should:

  • help leaders gain an understanding of their own behaviours (self-awareness)
  • provide room for constructive feedback
  • encourage leaders to reflect on their own experiences and behaviours
  • include coaching on the day-to-day aspects of being a leader such as running meetings and how to coach others effectively.

Ready to make coaching a daily habit?

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Developing leaders requires key skills

Leadership development and coaching rely on strong relationships to improve self-awareness and develop soft skills. In a study examining the coaching relationship, Boyce et al (2010) found that rapport, trust and commitment positively predicted behavioural change and coaching program results.

Let’s focus on these qualities and some techniques for building these aspects in your program.


Rapport is about finding and building on the similarities between a coach and the person being coached rather than focusing on the differences. In a coaching relationship, rapport looks like ease and warmth between two people. It allows each person to appreciate and respect each other as individuals.

Sharing common interests – professional or personal – offers a way to quickly build rapport. Building rapport can be difficult, and when not done well can be perceived as not genuine.


Mutual trust is essential in this relationship. It allows the person being coached to feel safe to try new things, encourages honesty and instils a sense of confidence in the coaching program. It means a coach can ask sometimes challenging or powerful questions that will engage the person being coached. It enables a coach to provide support and participants to participate in sessions while feeling safe and respected. A lack of trust is almost guaranteed to ensure that a leadership coaching program will fail.

Trust relies on respect for privacy and confidentiality. You can build trust by establishing boundaries and respecting those boundaries.


A strong commitment to the program is positively associated with successful coaching programs. Leadership coaching relies on both parties being dedicated to doing the work required as part of a coaching plan – it can be described as both parties doing what they say they are going to do. This means attending scheduled sessions, preparing for sessions and trying out new behaviours.


Developing an operating rhythm for coaching sets up a course for success. Read Optimising your operating cadence for employee development success to learn more about how you can create a cadence for your employee development program.

Employee coaching with YakTrak

Using an employee coaching software program offers a range of benefits. It:

  • provides consistency and structure – helping to drive a dedication to coach
  • tracks goals and progress – ensuring accountability
  • offers data-driven insights – making it easier to measure the impact of coaching sessions.

YakTrak was designed to maximise employee development by tracking the coaching conversations people are having. It:

  • automates a range of tasks saving time and allowing people to focus more on actual coaching activities
  • ensures efforts can be scaled across an organisation so all employees have access to high-quality development
  • provides a central location for documenting coaching activity making it easy to benchmark and analyse the impacts of coaching programs.

Ready to get on track with the Yak? Get in touch with us today to find out more.

Ready to make coaching a daily habit?

Get in touch with us

Boyce LA, Jeffrey JR and Neal LJ (2010) ‘Building successful leadership coaching relationships’, Journal of Management Development


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