Wise Leadership

What is leadership and management coaching?

Graham Andrewartha | Director | MCA group

Coaching helps leaders sustain a tolerance of complexity. Through a combination of assessment and discussion the coach helps the individual to identify areas for improvement. Developing strategies for overcoming challenges is part of the coaching. Leadership refinement is like polishing a diamond; it takes time and effort to refine the good material into something truly valuable.

One of my executive clients described it this way; a coach is a Seed Sower and a Nudger.

This is an excellent image.  The Coach studies the Leader’s wide property, prepares the ground and plants the most productive seeds in the right place. Then the Coach offers a nudge.  Central to the Nudge Theory is that people can be helped to think in the right way and to make better decisions.  The key to the Nudge Theory is maintaining  the focus on encouragement and choice.

How does coaching develop leaders?

A recent Entrepreneur magazine article observed,

“Leadership coaching has been proven, thanks to studies within behavioral science. It is considered one of the best ways to create and develop better leaders. There are three things to know about leadership coaching:

          • First, it is extremely personalized. It gives the one being coached lots of ownership and accountability over the entire procedure and where it ends up.
          • Second, the personalization of the process makes it applicable to all problems during the learning sessions and to use those lessons in the workplace.
          • Third, coaching allows for sustainable education and a change in behavior.”

This is what makes coaching so engaging – it is a personal significant working relationship.

Over the past 12 years, coaching models based on the principles of psychology have evolved to provide more flexible and tailored learning solutions. Coaching, not only develops reflection and insight, but also facilitates the emergence of wisdom. Wise leadership is an individual’s intuitive knowledge of what needs to be done and when.

Complex organisational systems require managers and leaders who can rise above the mundane and uncertain conditions.

Coaching assists leaders and managers successfully engage in the following behaviours:

1. Accepting complexity and uncertainty as the way of the world

2. Establishing guiding principles for setting priorities.

3. Making timely decisions.

4. Managing the information flow.

5. Nurturing and sustaining relationships.

6. Acknowledging and processing emotions.

7. Being a continuous learner.

How a manager can build these skills in different contexts is the work of the executive coach.

Coaching develops these abilities

  • The search for what makes something better.
  • The detection of imbalance.
  • Openness to change.
  • Pushing the limits.
  • A strong conviction about what matters most.
  • Preference for “discovery-oriented behaviour”.

Expert coaching questions 

  • What do you want to change?
  • Anything else?
  • If you’re doing this, what are you going to stop doing?
  • How’s this a challenge for you?
  • What are you expecting from me?
  • In this session what was most useful for you?
  • What will distract you from this change?

A personal approach

Excellent coaches engage in the following:

  • match the consultant with the executive manager.
  • Do their own study and reflection.
  • Keep one step ahead of the latest coaching research and avoid popular trends.
  • Ensure sessions are lively and interactional not instructional, and are held over a twelve-month period.
  • Provide  scheduling flexiblity.
  • Laugh, challenge, support, provoke, question, review, model, and recognise.
  • Share relevant articles and tips  between sessions.

We always discuss the value of each session with the manager.

Wise Leadership  Like to discuss coaching for your team? Then call or email us on 1300 856 480 or people@mca-group.com.au.