Answers to the top 10 questions nonprofit executives and emerging leaders like you ask about leadership coaching.
What if I’m interested in leadership coaching for my team?
Team transformation starts at the top. Thus, one-on-one coaching that is fully-tailored to your individual development goals is recommended as the best way to start. This will likely provide the most rapid and measurable gains—both for yourself and your team. If you want to include others, you would be best served with individual coaching programs for each team leader—as development goals are best tailored to individual needs.
What is leadership coaching exactly?
Leadership coaching is a highly personalized, collaborative and rigorous leadership development process designed to help you maximize your leadership potential and impact. Together, we’ll clarify your dreams and aspirations, identify your leadership and behavior change objectives, and define the outcomes you wish to achieve—for yourself and your organization. These will be our focus throughout the coaching engagement.
How will it work?
During our regular series of one-on-one coaching conversations, we’ll aim to draw out your most difficult leadership challenges, break down your most persistent barriers, and shine a light on your most limiting beliefs. Together we’ll strategize about approaches and behaviors to help you overcome these obstacles. It will be tough but transformational. But you’ll be in the driver’s seat—determining which actions you’ll take and how you’ll hold yourself accountable.
How does coaching compare to other forms of leadership development?
Unlike training and other forms of leadership development—which often take you away from your day-to-day environment and responsibilities—coaching helps you develop within the context of your current organization and role. Instead of learning from case studies about other organizations and leaders, the spotlight is on you. You learn through active, on-the-job experimentation and practice of new skills, behaviors and actions.
How does leadership coaching compare to consulting?
With consulting, the deliverable is typically some form of assessment and recommendation; often, it will also include implementation of a project on behalf of your organization. With leadership coaching, you receive support as you conduct your own assessments, surface your own best advice and lead your own team in implementing new initiatives. The deliverable is your growth as a leader—and its impact on your team and organization.
When will leadership coaching be most effective?
In the nonprofit sector, leadership coaching has proven particularly effective in helping leaders manage organizational change, prepare for and manage executive transition, and address specific organizational challenges. However, coaching can be effective any time you recognize that you haven’t reached your full leadership potential, your career has begun to plateau, or you need to acquire new competencies to address new challenges and demands.
What is the coaching relationship like?
Coaching provides you with objective feedback that others affiliated with your organization can’t provide. The intent is to help you uncover, name and take ownership for the leadership challenges you face—by reflecting back to you a mirror image of how you show up as a leader. For the coaching relationship to be effective, you must be both open to receiving direct, honest, unbiased feedback and motivated to enact positive change.
Nonprofit leaders often feel more and more isolated as they advance in their organizations and careers. Coaching provides you with a safe, supportive environment in which to tackle your leadership challenges. You’ll become a more self-aware, self-accountable and self-confident leader. You’ll become a stronger role model for your team. And you’ll take more decisive action to improve your own and your team’s performance and outcomes.
What can I do to ensure that my coaching program is successful?
For a coaching engagement to be successful, you must trust that you can share your challenges, weaknesses and vulnerabilities so you can receive help in addressing them. You must be open to new perspectives that may challenge your current thinking, to feedback that may be difficult to hear, and to testing new behaviors or actions that may, at first, be uncomfortable for you.
How can I measure if my coaching program is proving successful?
You will know your coaching engagement is successful when you are making measurable progress and achieving meaningful results for yourself and your organization. In the beginning, we’ll work together to set clear outcome goals. We’ll strive to link your leadership development objectives to organizational performance. And we’ll set clear measures and benchmarks for reviewing progress.