The Leader as a Coach
Herminia Ibarra and Anne Scoular | Dec 2019
In the face of rapid, disruptive change, companies are realizing that managers can’t be expected to have all the answers and that command-and-control leadership is no longer viable. As a result, many firms are moving toward a coaching model in which managers facilitate problem solving and encourage employees’ development by asking questions and offering support and guidance rather than giving orders and making judgments.
The authors explain the merits of different types of coaching—directive, nondirective, and situational—and note that sometimes no coaching at all is appropriate. They describe how managers can use the four-step GROW model to become more skilled at listening, questioning, and drawing insights out of the people they supervise. The article concludes with recommendations for making coaching an organizational capacity—effecting a cultural transformation by articulating why coaching is valuable for the firm as well as individuals, ensuring that leaders embrace and model it, building coaching capabilities throughout the ranks, and removing barriers to change.