How does Coaching support great leadership?

“Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximise their own performance.”

Sir John Whitmore, ‘Coaching for Performance’, 1996

A coaching relationship, first and foremost, seeks to create a unique and supportive space whereby individuals can find their own solutions, develop their own skills and change their own behaviours and attitudes.
Beyond this basic premise, there are all kinds of different approaches to coaching, and each coach works a little differently.
But what does a coaching relationship look like and why is it so vital in the context of School Leadership?

1. Someone who cares about you and your Well-being

The demands upon Headteachers and Senior School Leaders have increased like never before. Whilst you are at the centre of creating new and emboldened futures for our young people, you do so with constantly growing levels of personal accountability and public scrutiny.
Amidst this, School Leaders today need forms of support that can help them build their resilience and protect their emotional and psychological well-being. As after all, it is only when our own needs have been met, that we are able to effectively meet the needs of others.
Coaching is a unique form of support that focusses on you, not just as a leader, but also as a human being. An outstanding coach will recognise this and help you to make your well-being a priority. He/she will help you to make real lasting changes to your life, beliefs and ways of thinking and being as a School Leader, so that your reality of the role becomes more successful, sustainable and joyful.

2. Someone who has absolutely no agenda but yours.

If you are a Head, one thing that can make it so hard for you to find good support is the often-conflicting agendas of others.
If you have been told that they are there to support you, it is usually only a matter of time before you realise that their support has much more to do with you helping them meet their own agendas than it is about genuine, impartial support for you in your role.
In contrast, your coach has your back every step of the way, with no agenda but your own and a great coach will never try to tell you how you should lead your school.
Rather, your coach will meet you where you are and tailor every session to focus on the issues and areas that matter most to you.

3. Someone who believes in you

Similarly, your coach sees the gold, the potential inside of you, even when the weight of the role has come bearing down and you have lost sight of it.
Even better, they help you to reconnect to your potential by meeting you exactly where you are and deeply listening to what you’re dealing with and what you want to accomplish, and creating strategies with you to make that happen.
Through being of service in this way, a great coach will help to nurture your self-belief and where you may feel self-doubt, we demonstrate our trust and belief in you, so that you are able to achieve success on your own terms.

4. Someone with whom you can drop the Leadership Mask

When you’re at school, all eyes are on you, all the time. You have to keep that mask on, to stay armoured up and keep a check on your emotions, just to get through the day. But what so many people forget is that you’re still there underneath the mask.
You have feelings and emotions just like the rest of us. So above all, coaching provides a safe, confidential space (without fear of judgement) where you can share your thoughts, worries, concerns and find solutions to issues of key importance to you and your school.
A great coach will give you a chance to lose the armour and get back in touch with your emotions and what it feels like to be human.

One of the hardest things for me as a Headteacher was finding someone impartial who really understood the challenges I was experiencing, with whom I could “drop the leadership mask” and talk openly and honestly about the issues, questions, doubts and feelings I was having in my role.
If our leaders are to sustain consistently high levels of effectiveness and develop as leaders amidst the growing emotional cost of leading, the complexity of the role and heightened pressure of being a School Leader, this form of support is not just helpful – it’s vital.
Social workers have supervision to help them process their toughest cases, and corporate executives have space for “lessons learned” and continuous improvement between projects.
Yet School Leaders remain endemically under-supported – and many are left without anyone to turn to when they need encouragement after a difficult week, support in staying true to their vision or just a chance to be truly heard without judgement or fear of criticism.
That’s why I am now offering free “Coaching for The Soul” support calls for School Leaders to ensure that no School Leader finds themselves in the same situation as I was as a School Leader.
This Free 30 minute call will provide you with a confidential, safe space where you can:
– Talk  through the challenges you’re currently facing in your role
– Have a taster of what a Coaching Relationship is like
– Get support in locating next steps and solutions to help you overcome the issues you’re experiencing
– Explore what you want out of life as a School Leader

Book Your Call

Places are limited – so if you are determined to take charge of your own well-being, book today to avoid disappointment.




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