Leadership development: Two kinds of coaching

November 1, 2017 by Wally Bock

Julie Winkle Giulioni wrote a great post titled “Developing Employees in Like Brushing Your Teeth” that started me thinking about coaching and leadership development. Here’s the paragraph in her post that caught my eye.

“Effective leaders know that development is not an HR function; it’s a leadership function. They understand that while plans are static, context is dynamic and absolutely required in today’s complex workplace. And effective leaders appreciate that development is not about an annual process whereby forms are completed and boxes are dutifully checked; it’s about connecting with people organically and in an ongoing fashion day-in and day-out.”

Leadership development and Coaching

Julie’s post stresses that leaders develop others as part of the routine process of getting things done. It’s like brushing your teeth. It’s regular and mundane. That same is true of coaching.

For most of the time I’ve been in business, we talked about coaching as if it had a capital C. It was formal. Some coaches were hired professionals and some were leaders who coached. But Coaching was a formal process in either case.

Capital C Coaching is important, but it’s not enough. Effective leaders develop others mostly through informal coaching.

Leadership development and coaching in the workflow

Great leaders develop their people. They do most of that developing by coaching in the course of the regular workflow.

Your leadership development program probably incorporates formal Coaching. The question is: “Do you prepare leaders for the critical task of coaching in the workflow?”

Wally Bock is a coach, a writer and President of Three Star Leadership.

Posted in Leadership Development

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  • I think this principle (leaders coaching informally) goes hand in hand with consistent employee and manager communications. Annual reviews aren’t helpful anymore. But a leader sitting down with an employee on a regular basis to catch up on projects, ideas and more is a perfect setting in which to develop those employees.

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