- It's difficult to define when someone becomes a leader, but employees at all levels need to be coached on leadership skills a lot earlier in their careers, Helen Green writes for Training Zone. "In the past, unstructured leadership development programs were acceptable, but in today's business climate, we no longer have the luxury of leaving leadership development until the last minute," Green says.
- Green adds that old ideas of "Do as I say" is being transformed to managers teaching subordinates how to take responsibility with a more holistic view of the organization, tied to greater reasoning and influencing skills. In other words, leadership is a journey of self-discovery. Coaching fits into this picture well.
- In order for leadership coaching to be effective, it must be relevant and based on realism. But it must also provide a pathway and outlook for individual change.
Organizations that maintain coaching as part of the learning process provide a safe place where employees can learn real leadership skills on-the-job whilst being supported. Green points out that it can take several weeks for anyone to change behaviors, so coaching and practice can be more effective than simple online learning modules and assessments.
What can managers take away from this? They should be looking for opportunities to coach all employees on leadership topics, using strategic interventions when appropriate, and in real-time so that the future outlook of the organization is more positive.