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New Managers

Examples Of Leadership Coaching In The Workplace

Most managers got their roles because they excelled as individual contributors. But management is a new skill that needs to be developed. This article outlines three different models of leadership coaching that can help managers become better leaders for their teams.

Ryan Carruthers

September 17, 2021

The rapid pace of change today has resulted in a new approach to management and leadership. Gone are the days where command and control were the best tools a manager had to use. 

Instead, managers are offering support and guidance rather than instructions for employees. Managers are adopting more coaching-style techniques to lead their teams. In this coaching environment, employees learn to adapt better and use innovation to pave the way for business growth. 

Unfortunately, not all leaders have a good coaching style. One study found that nearly a quarter of leaders over ranked their coaching capabilities. However, with the right tools and approach, they can learn better leadership coaching practices. 

What Is Leadership Coaching?

Leadership coaching is an approach to management training that focuses on developing leadership capabilities in senior managers and high potential employees.

Leadership coaching for managers cultivates an atmosphere that encourages exploration, experimentation, learning, innovation, and change. This approach emphasizes listening, asking questions, and giving participants options rather than directions. This is much more effective than telling employees what to do.

Through the process of building up managers to become better leaders they discover how to access and use organizational resources while setting and pursuing goals for themselves. 

Examples of Leadership Coaching

There are a variety of styles that leaders use in their coaching efforts. They range from telling employees important information to listening and asking questions. 


This style relies on the leader sharing knowledge verbally to help guide and shape employees. Workplace mentoring programs use this style of leadership coaching. A mentor shares their knowledge with mentees, and that individual focuses on absorbing as much of what is told as possible. 


The non-directive style of coaching by leaders relies on asking questions, listening, and creating a non-judgmental atmosphere. The aim is to help employees connect with their inner creativity and learn to solve problems independently. 


A situational style describes a leadership coach who uses either a directive or non-directive approach depending on the situation. Managers should first start to feel comfortable with non-directive methods before adding in some directive coaching. 

What are the Models of Coaching?

There are three different models of leadership coaching that managers can employ. They are the GROW model, group and team coaching, and peer coaching. Let’s look at each one in more detail:

GROW model

The Grow model of coaching can be used to help focus employees on what actions they should take. There are four parts to it:

  • Goal - ask the employee what they want to accomplish right now. What is it they want to achieve before they leave the conversation? 
  • Reality - help employees focus on the facts of the situation by asking what, where, when, and who questions. Getting people to slow down and think this way can help them consider the problem thoughtfully and figure out the right solution. 
  • Options - uncovering the possibilities that an employee has to solve the issue can be as simple as asking them what they would do if they had a magic wand. Thinking this way can help them consider new perspectives and fresh ideas. 
  • Will - finally, ask the employee what they will do. This can clarify the strategy discussed and focus them on the solution.

Group and Team Coaching 

With group or team coaching, the goal is for the leader to guide the members to look beyond themselves and learn to work together successfully. This will be evident in their ability to communicate, learn, act, and decide things together. 

Peer Coaching Model

Some psychologists believe that you can adjust a person’s behaviour through modelling. In peer coaching, employees observe what their colleagues do, which gives them more confidence to perform the modelled behaviour. Additionally, leaders too can demonstrate the behaviour they want employees to adopt. Managers can also ask the employee to think of people they know that have had a positive impact. 

In What Ways Does Coaching Contribute To Effective Leadership Development?

Using coaching methods can help managers and high potential employees develop their leadership skills and capabilities in different ways, such as:

Develops mentoring relationships

Workplace mentoring is a trusted and effective tool to help engage employees, develop their skills and talent, cultivate connections, and share knowledge. Over 70 percent of Fortune 500 companies have mentoring programs in their organizations. These mentorships have several benefits for mentees, mentors, and the organization, including:

  • Reduce turnover
  • Increase engagement
  • Succession planning
  • Talent development

The correct application of leadership coaching strategies can develop successful mentoring relationships at your organization. Starting a workplace mentoring program is simplified through the application of mentoring software. Programs like Together guide you through registering, pairing mentors and mentees, and creating reports. It will save you time and money and enable you to build a workplace mentoring program that can change your office culture and your organization’s future employee’s career. Doing this will help develop higher-performing companies. 

Increases accountability decreases feelings of alienation 

Managers are key to cultivating an inclusive workplace. Their role requires them to offer support, advice, and encouragement to employees at the right time. Unfortunately, this is not always easy to do, and managers need to develop their leadership skills to be effective. Reducing the feelings of alienation from work that employees can have will lead to a more robust workplace culture and a more successful organization. 

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