Coaching Leadership and Leadership Coaching: What’s the difference?

LAST UPDATE ON January 2, 2024

Executive Coaching
Executive Coaching

Both these terms are often used interchangeably. However, these are distinct concepts that play unique roles in shaping you into effective leaders.

We delve into the nuances of Coaching Leadership and Leadership Coaching, highlighting their differences and emphasising their significance in the realm of personal and professional growth.

Coaching Leadership

Coaching Leadership is a leadership style characterised by your emphasis on cultivating a coaching mindset within your team.

In this approach, you assume the role of a coach, guiding your team members towards self-discovery and personal development.

The primary focus is on unlocking individual potential, fostering a culture of continuous learning, and empowering your team members to take ownership of their growth.

Here are some key characteristics of Coaching Leadership:

  • Empowerment, not Control

Coaching leaders prioritise empowerment over control. You believe in the capabilities of your team members and aim to facilitate an environment where individuals feel empowered to make decisions, take risks, and learn from their experiences.

  • Active Listening and Feedback

Effective communication is at the core of Coaching Leadership. You actively listen to your team members, providing constructive feedback to facilitate their growth.

The emphasis is on creating a two-way communication channel that fosters understanding and collaboration between you and your team members.

  • Questioning for Reflection

Coaching leaders often use questioning techniques to encourage self-reflection. By asking thought-provoking questions, you can guide your team members to explore their thoughts, motivations, and potential solutions independently.

  • Growth Mindset

As a coaching leader, you adopt a growth and developmental mindset and view challenges as opportunities for growth.

You support your team in overcoming obstacles, fostering their resilience and positive attitude towards learning.

Leadership Coaching

On the other hand, Leadership Coaching is a professional service that current and aspiring leaders seek to enhance their leadership skills and achieve specific goals.

It involves a one-on-one relationship between a trained coach and a leader, focusing on personalised development plans and strategies for achieving professional objectives.

Here are some key characteristics of Leadership Coaching:

  • Personalised Approach

Leadership Coaching is tailored to your specific needs and goals as a leader.

Your coach would work closely with you to identify your strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement, creating a customised plan for your professional development journey.

  • Goal-Oriented

The coaching process is goal-oriented, with you and your coach setting objectives and defining measurable outcomes together.

Whether it’s improving your communication skills, navigating the latest organisational challenges, or enhancing your decision-making, your coaching journey should ultimately be directed towards achieving tangible results.

  • Accountability

Leadership Coaching involves a level of accountability. Your coach should hold you responsible for your commitments and actions, ensuring that the strategies you agreed on with your coach are implemented.

This accountability fosters a sense of responsibility and discipline in your approach as a leader as well.

  • Skills Enhancement

While Coaching Leadership focuses on your ability to coach others, Leadership Coaching aims at enhancing your specific leadership skills.

This could include communication skills, conflict resolution, strategic thinking, or any other competency relevant to your role and goals as a leader.

Coaching Leadership is a leadership style that permeates the entire team, fostering a coaching culture within the organization. Leadership Coaching, on the other hand, is a targeted, individualised process designed to hone specific leadership skills and achieve predetermined goals.

Both concepts are invaluable in the professional development landscape, and successful leaders often find a balance between adopting Coaching Leadership as a leadership style and seeking Leadership Coaching to refine their skills.

Adopting both approaches can lead to transformative leadership, creating resilient, empowered teams and driving sustained business success.

Discover how you can be a Coaching Leader, or how you can embark on a personalised Leadership Coaching journey today.

Want to add coaching to your leadership journey? Call us at 6346 1455 or find out more about our Certified Career Coach workshop here.

©Published by Lifeskills Institute Pte Ltd