Leadership Coaching: Ultimate Guide For Helping Clients Thrive

Leadership Coaching

Great leadership means something different to every individual, and it’s a definition that has changed considerably over time.

On top of this, there’s no one course or certification that “makes a strong leader,” so how can someone know if they’re steering their organization in the right direction?

This article takes a deep dive into leadership coaching; an individualized solution that helps leaders answer these questions and get on the right path.

Leadership Coaching Explained: 5 Examples

Leadership coaching is an individualized development solution that helps managers, executives, and other business leaders maximize their impact in the workplace.

With the goal of enhancing organizational success through more effective leadership, coaches in this niche help clients by providing the support and guidance they need to:

  • Clarify leadership goals
  • Improve self-awareness
  • Identify and challenge their assumptions
  • Think more critically and/or creatively
  • Better lead, motivate, inspire, and manage teams
  • Develop role-specific skills such as interpersonal communication, EQ, or decision-making.

Leadership coaching is an individualized development solution that helps managers, executives, and other business leaders maximize their impact in the workplace.

Just as with other types of coaching, leadership coaching can take different forms depending on a client’s organizational and business context.

The following themes often overlap, but just a few examples include:[1][2]

  1. Personal leadership coaching: Focused on an individual’s unique strengths and potential. It can involve identifying and re-shaping emotional/behavioral patterns to enhance the way they lead.
  2. Performance coaching: Helping leaders better understand their job requirements, the skills/capabilities needed to fulfill those requirements, and taking action on opportunities for improvement.
  3. Succession coaching: For candidates who have the potential to full more senior organizational roles.
  4. Targeted behavioral coaching: For leaders who hope to develop better or more effective ways of working and interaction, including for specific roles.
  5. Team coaching: Where leaders and their teams work together to enhance relationships and performance by improving inter-group dynamics.

12 Strategies & Techniques For Coaching Leaders

Each leadership coaching client comes to the experience with distinct goals and experiences, so context-building is a common way to introduce most programs.

Leadership Coaching Techniques StrengthsQuenza
Quenza’s ‘Your Character Strengths’ expansion invites leaders to identify five strengths they believe they possess.

Various assessments and exercises can be useful in this regard; a small sample of potential examples include:

  1. Strengths assessments, such as The VIA Classification of Character Strengths & Virtues Expansion shown above. A participant’s responses to this self-reflection exercise enable coaches to personalize their approach and solutions.
  2. Goal-setting exercises that help clients focus their efforts. To illustrate, Quenza’s Pre-Coaching Questionnaire Expansion explores a leader’s current satisfaction levels, expectations from coaching, and desire for change.
  3. Personality traits and qualities. Exercises like Quenza’s Positive Qualities Expansion can be especially relevant in personal leadership coaching, where coachees consider how beliefs, experiences, and assumptions influence their current (and future) effectiveness.
  4. Current challenges. These can tap into everything from stress and communication challenges to personal triggers and a lack of value-aligned behavior. Quenza’s Wheel of Needs and Wheel of Life are two broad Expansion tools that can uncover a whole range of personal focus areas.

Using assessment results as a guide, a leadership coach will then generally develop a customized program of development for their client.

Depending on the coaching goals identified, these might include some of all of the following:

  1. Skill-building, reflection, or practical exercises
  2. Meditations, which can be guided, scripted, or recorded
  3. Video, text-based, or audio lessons/lectures
  4. Metaphors or vignettes
  5. Communications exercises, role play, or games
  6. Teambuilding activities
  7. Visualizations, and of course,
  8. Group or personal conversations centered on a specific topic.

Building Your Leadership Program and Business

While a huge array of activities fall under the leadership coaching umbrella, the most common types of targeted initiatives involve a medium to long-term collaboration between coach and leader.

So how can you plan your coaching sessions around a framework that allows for:

  • Consistent progress
  • Deep learning, and
  • Practical application of new skills in a relevant context, like the workplace?

There is a range of apps and software systems to help you build coaching programs, but if you’re serious about scaling up your business, it’s best to go for an all-in-one solution.

With a platform like Quenza, you essentially have a full toolkit for building a digital or hybrid leadership program.

That includes everything required to:

  • Create coaching exercises, lessons, assessments, worksheets, and other session/homework Activities
  • Design your own motivational incentives, like Certificates of Completion or personalized videos of encouragement
  • Compile your materials into a logical sequence or “Pathway” of program steps
  • Deliver your content to clients securely through the free Quenza app
  • Monitor their engagement through live progress tracking (view pending, in progress, or completed assessments)
  • Boost client motivation and performance with reminders, updates, and notifications
  • Share files easily without email back and forths
  • Keep notes on your sessions in organized Client Profiles
  • …And more.

But first, you’ll need a relevant leadership coaching topic!

5 Topics and Ideas For Your Sessions

Popular coaching topics quite naturally stem from the challenges most leaders are facing.

Here are just a few examples, according to expert coaches:[1][3]

A Mindful Goal Focus Quenza Leadership Coaching Topics
A Mindful Goal Focus is a Quenza Expansion Activity that helps leaders cultivate a healthy balance between the present moment and future goals.
  1. Emotional Intelligence. EQ is a highly relevant “soft skill” that can strongly influence how leaders behave, relate to others, and build organizational culture, among other things. Session ideas include skills-building interventions for self-awareness, empathy, and emotional regulation.
  2. Communication and influence. There’s some overlap here with leadership coaching in the EQ space, but here the focus is more on the skills that enable leaders to involve, inspire, and engage others effectively. This can include helping clients identify and develop their communicative strengths and weaknesses, or optimize team dynamics for collective intelligence and high performance.
  3. Productivity and time management. This can involve helping leaders who want to develop a healthier work-life balance, maximize their efficiency, or realize a Mindful Goal Focus, as in the example Expansion shown above.
  4. Managing change. Organizational success is increasingly more dependent on how well firms adapt to their business context, and it’s up to leaders to involve and engage staff in those changes. Coaching can help leaders to better involve or motivate others, communicate their vision, and plan strategies based on their change-related goals.
  5. Self-esteem. Low self-confidence is a common obstacle many leaders need to overcome to achieve their professional goals. Coaching ideas in this space include helping clients develop self-compassion, tackle perfectionism, and cultivate a growth mindset.

Best Online App For Leadership Coaches

Quenza was specifically designed to help you coach others; actioning your ideas is as simple as:

  1. Developing your coaching Activities
  2. Organizing them into Pathways, and
  3. Sharing them with clients through the free Quenza App.

But with Quenza’s unique features, you can also achieve a whole lot more. Among other things, you can:

  • Productize your services by creating customizable giveaways, coaching packages, and online training courses
  • Advertise your practice when you feature your coach branding on solutions
  • Develop and run group and team coaching solutions
  • Customize free, pre-made exercises (or Expansions) to reduce your prep time
  • Store all your documents, PDFs, and multimedia in one place with Quenza Files, and
  • Offer your clients a multilingual, custom-branded coaching portal with the Quenza app—including a PDF library of all their activities, results, and notes.

5 Activities and Exercises For Your Clients

Here are just a few of the activities and exercises you can customize from Quenza’s Expansion Library to suit your leadership coaching programs.

Leadership Coaching Activities Quenza Comfort Zone
‘Leaving Your Comfort Zone’ is a Quenza Expansion that encourages leaders to move beyond fear, toward growth and learning.
  1. Leaving Your Comfort Zone, pictured above, is a versatile Expansion tool for helping clients overcome mental barriers to change.
  2. Emotion Masks can be a useful template where leaders are struggling with emotional expression, and can also be a helpful starting point for discussions focused on improving communication and team relationships.
  3. Preparing for change: The DARN-C acronym helps clients create and visualize a plan to prepare for desired personal or professional change.
  4. Seeing Through The Illusion of Self-Rating is a perfect Expansion template for clients who struggle with negative self-appraisals, and low self-confidence.
  5. Stress Profile promotes effective coping in leaders, starting with questions that help them develop a personal stress profile.

Performing Your Sessions with Quenza Groups

If you work with cross-functional, project, or department teams, Quenza Groups is a full suite of features that can come in very handy.

Once you’ve created programs using the three simple steps we’ve already discussed, all you need to do is create a cohort of coaching clients to deliver them to.

You can do this by inviting clients individually, bulk importing clients from a spreadsheet, or sending invite emails to new contacts with whom you haven’t yet worked.

Quenza Chat Leadership Coaching Group
Quenza Chat simplifies how you stay in touch with leadership coaching groups through personal or team chats.

Quenza Groups is a simple way to:

  • Send activities to all group or team participants at once, so that you have a set start or end date
  • Collect all your participants’ responses and results securely (and in real-time)
  • Track the performance of individuals and the group
  • Facilitate discussions through group chat (or invite participants to support each other), and
  • Boost your revenue above and beyond billable hours for individual clients.

For a closer look at how you can manage group programs, check out The Ultimate Guide to Online Group Coaching.

8 Unique Tools and Resources in Quenza

Wondering where to start?

In a neat and tidy nutshell, here’s everything you can try out with your Quenza subscription:

  1. Quenza Groups
  2. Quenza Notes
  3. Quenza Files
  4. Client App
  5. Activity Builder
  6. Pathway Builder
  7. Quenza Chat
  8. Quenza White Label

Why not start by customizing a Quenza Expansion and putting together your own leadership coaching program?

Final Thoughts

If the past few years have taught us anything, it’s this: the only certain thing about global business is its uncertainty.

There is a growing demand for high-quality leadership coaching that can help today’s executives not only survive, but thrive in a dynamic context. If you’re thinking about moving into the space, it’s a great field to be in right now.

Ready to launch your leadership coaching program? Don’t forget to start your 30-day Quenza trial for just $1.

You’ll have access to our complete toolkit of coaching and training program tools instantly, including everything you need to design, build, and deliver your program from anywhere.

References

About the author

Catherine specializes in Organizational and Positive Psychology, helping entrepreneurs, clinical psychologists and OD specialists grow their businesses by simplifying their digital journeys.

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