Leading and Coaching in Challenging Times

Published on: 17 Jun 2016

We are living in an era where:

  • Technology does not provide a competitive advantage as any new products or services can be copied by competitors within split seconds
  • Gen Ys & Millennials are operating in alternative ways with new values
  • Information is at our finger tips and the pace of business has changed - no one person has all the answers
  • Business is global and there is a need for greater inclusiveness and valuing of diversity
  • The employment contract has changed - individuals are now more accountable for managing their own development and career advancement

It’s clear that the traditional ‘command and control’ leadership style is outdated. Increasingly, the best way leaders can add value to their organisation, is to build capabilities and capacities of staff by bringing out their peoples’ potential whilst removing their own interference through coaching. What differentiates a great leader from a good leader is their ability to solve adaptive problems instead of technical problems.

Coaching works for leaders in 2 defined ways:

  1. It brings personal breakthrough to the leader
  2. It constitutes an effective leadership style to empower their people

Coaching brings personal breakthrough to the leader

Coaching focuses on the future, fosters individual performance and helps executives discover their own path. In an ever-changing operating environment, a professional coach holds a customised thinking space for leaders to review and reshuffle their existing resources to maximise their strengths. Being coached also allows leaders to discover their blinds spots and limiting beliefs which may have held them back from making the impossible, possible.

One of the typical blinds spots of leaders is their traditional identity of being a problem solver and their confusion between ‘knowing from doing’. A professional coach establishes trust and a ‘safe zone’ for leaders to rediscover their new (and productive) identity and bridge the leader’s ‘knowing and doing’ with effective strategies.

Coaching is an effective and engaging leadership style

As no one person has all the answers nowadays, asking is more effective than telling when leading a team to deliver high performance. Listening and reflecting back not only builds trust and engages people, it also allows people to pause and make responsive decisions.

Empowerment in Chinese means “Authorisation and Enablement”. Coaching is a learning process during which the leaders co-create solutions with their team and thus, they grow together. Coaching prompts leaders to focus on their peoples’ strengths and activates the Pygmalion Effect. By doing so, it increases team members’ capabilities and capacities to think and to act.

After all, the most flexible person in thinking and behaving is most influential. Both being coached and the ability to coach others is a self-generated scheme for leaders to change with the change and to create win-win solutions during challenging times.

Written by Leona Wan – Executive Coach, Facilitator and Trainer

Leona first experienced professional coaching in 2003 when she met her own coach whilst in a senior leadership role in a large corporation. Leona finds coaching brings her successes in both her professional and personal life.

By adopting ‘coach approach’ leadership at work, she created high performance teams within her business function. With the support of her coach, she discovered that her passion and life mission is to help others to grow and learn. In 2007 Leona left her corporate assignment and set up her own coaching practice. She became an ICF Associate Certified Coach in 2009. She is now a full time executive coach and corporate workshop facilitator specialising in Leadership, Performance Management and Coaching.

If you’d like to know more about Coach Approach Leadership – either the theory or the workshops/coaching sessions Leona offers, please contact us.