Coaching Style of Leadership

By: Catherine Daw | Published: DECEMBER 2017

In a more complex workplace, today’s leaders and managers must master as never before the dance of leading, engaging others, and delivering results. You can’t pick up a business magazine, listen to a podcast, or read a blog that doesn’t talk about today’s new world of critical leadership challenges:

How do leaders manage their companies through transformational culture change?
How are they able to engage their employees to participate in leading, managing and implementing these changes?
How can they be use innovation and turn on a dime?
How can they develop their talent to best address their business needs?

The old model of command and control leadership and rewarding individual performance is long gone. And where it may still be in use, it isn’t functioning well. Today’s leaders must learn to lead with a less formal level of authority and influence. And are expected to understand and build strong organizational cultures to foster and reward knowledge transfer across the entire organization, promote corporate wide team collaboration, and foster employee engagement.

With this increasing pressure to lead differently, there has been a movement towards a coaching style of leadership.

This trend is occurring across industries, sectors, and globally.


Why is coaching a useful style of leadership?

Over the years, studies have discovered some interesting insights as to what motivates people at work. The top 3 motivators at work appear to be:

• Feeling appreciated and valued.
• Feeling trusted and involved in decision-making.
• Feeling supported during tough times.

In a 2013 study1, 50% of respondents believed that their organization prioritized financial goals over the above motivators. Further studies have consistently shown that one of the main reasons people give for leaving their job is ‘Their relationship with their manager.

Coaching has a very direct influence on these motivators.

Coaching is a very inclusive process. Simply put, coaching looks like a conversation between two people in a good relationship. This means there is:

• Plenty of opportunity to demonstrate how you value each other (in fact it is proven that just committing some time to each other makes you feel valued!).

• Plenty of opportunity to demonstrate trust and involve each other in decision-making.

• Plenty of opportunity to be supportive during tough times.

Therefore, coaching, when done well and consistently, directly addresses the top three reasons why the relationship between a manager and team member deteriorates. If you want people to “buy in”.…….and want people to stay and to perform to their full potential, managers and leaders must become confident in their use of coaching techniques.

Managers who coach improve productivity, morale, and job satisfaction for themselves and their colleagues. It is a flexible process whereby an individual, through direct discussion and guided activity, helps a colleague to learn to solve a problem, or do a task better than would otherwise be the case.

The end result is the unlocking of potential and creation of an empowering atmosphere at work. A low cost, low risk to making a difference in leading and creating organizational value.


1 Gallup, “State of the American Workplace”,