How to integrate coaching into your leadership

coaching and leadership

Coaching is a great way for leaders to develop talent across organisations.

However, many people are still undecided on the benefits and coaching and also what it can do for you as a Leader.

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What is Coaching?

In the words of John Whitmore:

“Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximise performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them.”

In its simplest form, coaching is the combination of asking great questions and open, active listening.

The benefits of coaching are widely documented and include:

    • An opportunity for learning to be enhanced. As people learn from an experience or a situation, they then apply that learning in action in the future, further embedding the learning.
    • The simple act of listening is a great gift and can really enhance productivity. The feeling of being listened to is very closely linked to people’s happiness, or positive mindset, and therefore their performance at work.
    • Coaching is a way of creating a common approach to working together as it encourages collaborative problem solving, brainstorming, and innovation.
    • A coaching approach offers people a great vehicle for making good choices and decisions for themselves. It encourages personal responsibility and accountability. While, in any particular scenario, we may not be able to change the scenario itself, we can always change the way that we approach it, how we respond to it, and the framing, or the mindset that we bring.
    • Another great application of coaching, of course, is in the process of setting goals, and in a team environment, creating shared and agreed goals so that we have a common purpose, a common agenda that we’re all working to.

Still not convinced of the benefits? Let’s also look at some of the pitfalls you may be encountering in your role as a Leader.

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      • You have a lot of ‘have you got a minute’ conversations that seem to go on for hours (on average it takes about 25 minutes to get back to your work following an interruption)
      • People hand their problems over to you to solve
      • People come to you for answers, and how to do something, rather than remembering what you said last time they asked the same question
      • You end up spending your time on someone else’s area rather than your own…delaying what you’d planned to do for the day. You become reactive not proactive.
      • You have no chance to just think, your time and energy is being used elsewhere.

However, using a coaching approach, you resolve the above issues as:

      • You don’t need to take ownership of all the problems people bring to you- simply coach them.
      • Have you got a minute – can be exactly that!
      • You don’t need to know the answer to everything, or be the resident expert
      • You will save time, over time
      • You can be proactive rather than reactive

Choosing to use a coaching approach allows a leader to focus on the high impact, value adding parts of your leadership role.

In addition, you can perform at your best, knowing that the people around you are doing the same thing. In addition:

      • You will build connections and trust based relationships with the people around you.
      • You will learn from their experiences, knowledge and ideas. You learn far more from listening than from speaking.
      • You gain the personal satisfaction of helping others grow and develop. You’re not spoon-feeding, you’re facilitating with great questions.
      • You’ll be building skills in the people around you so they too can become better listeners and ask better questions of you.
      • You will create opportunities for collaboration and knowledge sharing with you.

By integrating a coaching approach with the people around you, you change outcomes for yourself, your team and your organisation.

So are you convinced yet?


Stacey Ashley is a Master Coach and leader within the Australian coaching community. She regularly shares her expertise with others by offering the most highly accredited workplace & business coaching programs in Australia. Stacey is also she is a regular speaker on Workplace Coaching Culture, Happiness at Work, and mBraining for Wiser Decision Making.

To find out more , please visit