Thursday, November 26, 2009

What is Leadership Coaching?

Leadership Development happens in many, on the job learning, mentoring and increasingly, through a personalized style of learning called executive or leadership coaching. Coaching is a tool that helps leaders develop and hone their ability to learn. It is about meta-learning or learning about our own ability to learn.
Learning refers to the concerted activity that increases the capacity and willingness of individuals, teams, organizations, and communities to acquire and productively apply new knowledge and skills. The ability to learn increases our capacity as individuals to grow and mature and to adapt successfully to change. Learning empowers individuals and organizations to make wise choices about the world around them, to solve problems, and to innovate. It is this kind of learning that is a sustainable, lifelong, renewable process for people, for organizations, and for the communities they serve.
Coaching for leadership development focuses on the discipline of personal mastery. Peter Senge, renowned author, educator, and speaker on learning defines personal mastery as” ...continually clarifying and deepening our personal vision, of focusing our energies, of developing patience and of seeing reality objectively.” Coaching is a systematic, effective methodology to increase personal mastery, awareness, and performance in leaders. Coaching explicitly supports the learners to help them understand their own learning style and to observe and reflect on what they are learning. Coaching is a collaborative, results-oriented process that engages the learner in identifying their own learning gaps and in finding systematic solutions to address them.
People are primarily engaged in the process of making meaning of the world around them. This effort to understand or make sense of the world is extremely useful. It enables us to understand the past, make sense of the present and, to a degree, predict the future. As we mature, we adopt certain filters, or ways of seeing the world. These ways of making sense or making meaning are useful in some circumstances and potentially limiting in others. Coaching helps to highlight the ways in which we filter information and actively encourages us to incorporate new and diverse perspectives. Coaching helps a leader to consciously nurture meaningful experiences and as a result take meaningful action.
Learning about our own learning requires the active collaboration of both the coach and the leader. The coach’s role is to listen deeply, to encourage, to inquire and to empower leaders to reach their fullest level of capability. The leader’s role is to bring all of their experience and knowledge to the relationship, to be open, and to be willing to make change through deliberate and planned action. Coaching is a powerful tool for people who want to take their leadership to another level...

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