What Makes you a Leadership Coach?

by The International Regulator of Coaching and Mentoring CIC

Leadership Coaching is a distinct field of coaching that is similar but different to, for example, Life Coaching.

All coaching focus’ on helping individuals achieve their goals and improve their professional and personal lives. While both can be highly effective, and although the techniques are the same, they have different approaches and objectives.

Leadership Coaching focuses on developing the skills and abilities of leaders, often in the context of a business or organisational setting.  It helps leaders become better leaders and works with them to identify their strengths and weaknesses in relation to their business or organisational position.

The goal of a Leadership Coach is to help individuals identify their business aspirations, set goals for their business or organisation and for themselves within the business or organisation, and develop personal action plans to achieve their business or organisational goals, and in doing so to help organisations achieve their goals through effective leadership.

Life Coaching, on the other hand, is a broader field that focuses on helping individuals achieve their own personal and professional goals, regardless of whether they are in a leadership role or not. Life Coaches work with clients to identify their aspirations, set goals, and develop personal action plans to achieve them. The goal of a Life Coach is to help individuals lead happier and more fulfilling lives, both personally and professionally.

It’s important to note that not every coach is a Leadership Coach, and not every Leadership Coach is a Life Coach.  While the field of coaching does not require the coach to have any experience in the topic of conversation with their client, most Coaches prefer to work in a niche market they understand.

Coaches who want to become effective Leadership Coaches will benefit from gaining experience and/or educating themselves about the principles and practices of leadership and gain a deeper understanding of the leadership challenges that businesses or organisations and the individuals within businesses or organisations face.

Part of the challenge all Coaches face is one of terminology.  Leadership Coaches with the knowledge and experience of leadership will understand leadership terminology, whereas Life Coaches may not recognise that particular words are used with a particular meaning within the leadership context.

It is an easier conversation with the client if the Coach understands the principles of the topic, the terminology used within the niche, and an understanding of the challenges faced by people in that niche market.  Without a knowledge of the niche, the coach may find themselves asking questions to gain that understanding, rather than focusing on the questions needed to help the client achieve their aspirations.

For effective Leadership Coaches it is important that they stay up-to-date with the latest developments in leadership and have an understanding of the continuing professional development recommendations for leaders.

Each coach, whether they are a Leadership Coach, a Life Coach, or another niche Coach, should be working within the industry Standards, Ethics, and Core Competencies.  These can be found on https://ircmcic.org/codes-of-conduct/ .  All Coaches, irrespective of a niche market, have the opportunity to participate in the discussions and decisions about the future of the coaching and mentoring industry, specifically relating to the Standards, Ethics, and Core Competencies.  Where these may differ for the niche markets, Leadership Coaching verse Life Coaching it is important that coaches who are practicing in these niche markets become involved.

About IRCM

The International Regulator of Coaching and Mentoring CIC is the only approved, independent coaching and mentoring Regulator for the coaching and mentoring industry. The IRCM works closely with Coaches, Mentors, Education/Training, and Coaching/Mentoring organisations as well as providing support to the Consumers.  The IRCM encourages all coaches, mentors, and organisations to REGISTER in order to participate in the discussions and decisions about the future of the coaching and mentoring industry.











Source: iCN Issue 41  (Leadership Coaching); pages 27-28