Coaching as Community

Ever consider coaching to create a community of leaders?

You must be deliberate and provide coaching to your top performers.

Nearly every organization claims to want to keep their best talent by establishing a community of leaders.  Interestingly, the top leaders in most organizations point to their firm’s leadership development training as the primary means of establishing that community of leaders.

Yet, most staffers assert that the training offered within the typical leadership development training program does little, if anything, to make them better leaders, let alone contribute to establishing a leadership community. The fact is most employees suggest that the training material offered is far too theoretical to be readily applied.

This is where leadership coaching comes into play.

This kind of one-on-one coaching program, for example, is styled to meet the specific needs of each person being coached – and, when done right, it can be used to create the community of leaders that is the envy of every top leadership team on the planet.

Here are some tips to look for in a coaching program, besides simply providing weekly one-on-one coaching sessions to each of your highest potential employees (these are the people that you see, one day, being the top leaders of your organization):

Create A Cohort: Common experiences are had by providing coaching (by the same coach) to a small group of people over a given time period. These shared experiences go a long way towards establishing a leadership community among cohort members. The idea is that each member of the cohort is gaining similar insights from their coach as they go along their individualized coaching journey.

Sponsor Group Discussions Among Cohort Members: By regularly scheduling time for your folks to meet while they are moving through the coaching program you aid cohort members in building the trust relationships necessary to create the sounding boards and the support systems that they need as they move up together through the organization.

Provide Mentoring: Additionally, make sure that each person in your coaching cohort is assigned a C-level leader to be a mentor. Mentors are going to help their mentees to better understand and create a fuller picture of what it’s like to be in a top spot within that organization. An added benefit of mentoring, of course, is that it serves as an outstanding way to create the network necessary to pull people up into the organization as new leadership opportunities become available in the organization.

Peer Review Input: A 360 peer review element assists those being coached to recognize their blind spots and helps them to better understand how colleagues see them within the work setting.

Self-Assessment Work: This element of your high potential leadership coaching program enables your people to have the opportunity to learn about themselves – recognizing some of the areas where they have opportunities to improve.

To close, leadership coaching is an essential part of building a community of leaders within your organization.  When done in the “right” way, it offers your people a manner to develop new leadership skills in a safe environment, where practice and feedback can be provided by an objective, third-party as they hone their abilities to engage and inspire those whom they lead.

If you need some help establishing a solid leadership coaching program, please reach out. I welcome the opportunity to fashion and deliver a coaching program that meets your specific business needs.