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Leaders as coaches and the value of the ‘safe space’

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The concept of the leader as coach is resonating with many organisations and leaders, as they recognise that the leadership skills that got us here won’t get us to our next destination. This is because leaders as coaches address many critical leadership capability gaps. Leaders as coaches hold purposeful conversations in the workplace, resulting in greater collaboration, increased awareness and responsibility and overall higher performance from individuals and teams.

Leaders as coaches achieve this by engaging in coaching behaviours such as listening (when a leader is coaching, the team member does most of the talking), using goal-setting to direct and focus efforts and behaviour and creating a reflective space to learn from experience. Leaders as coaches also adopt a coaching mindset; for example, being open and curious, adopting a non-judgemental attitude (they ask rather than assume) and having a growth mindset (they believe people can learn and change).

Dr Rebecca Jones

Professor in Coaching
Published 29 April 2022

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This is a precis of an article by Graham Louden-Carter, Executive Fellow in Executive Education