Leadership coaching is a new phenomenon, leading people to ask an important question:
What is a leadership coach, and how do I become one?
A leadership coach is a mentor that one can go to, to learn more about unlocking their truest potential in leadership. According to the International Coaching Federation [ICF]’s 2020 coaching study, in 2019, there were approximately 71,000 coaches bringing in a revenue of over $2.849 billion USD. However there are a few skills that are essential to serve as a leadership coach.
Context is Key
If you’d like to serve as an executive coach to someone in a specific executive leadership role, knowing the ins and outs of the place where they’re working is essential. You don’t necessarily need to be an expert, but having some background experience is going to help you understand where this person is coming from. As a leader, you’re going to face challenges that you wouldn’t face anywhere else, and understanding the specific parts of those problems is vital as a leadership coach. Remember, theory and actuality are two different things. Calling from experience is always going to be better than relying on theory to overtake everything.
Unfortunately, in this profession, working as a leader is going to be the most helpful part of creating your business. Having the basis of the leadership profession can go a long way when trying to piece together a foundation of a leadership coach. These basic concepts can be things like leadership effectiveness, emotional intelligence, and organizational systems theories. Having the knowledge of these can help you not only be more self-aware, but also help you become a better leader to the people who you are mentoring.
Be real with yourself
There are specific questions that you need to ask yourself before you begin to invest in the training to become a coach. Things such as
- Am I passionate about helping others and the problems that they have?
- Do I have the knowledge of leadership to start this coaching business?
- What sort of feelings do I have when interacting with others?
- Can I adjust my communication style to the needs of my client?
- Am I aware of the judgements and perceived notions that I have of others, and can I monitor them as I work?
The answers to these questions can be critical as a coach, as they’re an integral part of helping someone develop their skills. Doing the hard work on yourself before you begin coaching can help you interact with others better. You want to be the best version of yourself before you try and change others
Becoming a leadership coach can be a very rewarding profession, giving you the opportunity to have an incredible impact on the people you help. It’s important to know that a certification can only help you get so far: the real work begins in the work you do for yourself.