7 Must-Have Coaching Skills for Strong Leadership

coaching skills, leader coaching skills

7 Must-Have Coaching Skills for Strong Leadership

Coaching can help to boost personal and organisational growth. It allows individuals and teams to develop their skills and capabilities, fostering self-awareness and self-efficacy. Which is why investing in leaders with top coaching skills can help organisations reach their full potential. This article explores top coaching skills, their benefits, and how to improve leadership coaching skills such as setting goals, evaluating current coaching processes and being flexible.

What Are Coaching Skills?

Coaching skills are essential competencies a coach or leader uses to develop others. They are not innate but require effort and intentionality to learn them. Good coaching skills have numerous benefits, such as increased productivity, resilience, and reduced employee turnover. Also, employees build mental fitness, which benefits both the employee and the organisation.

For instance, a customer’s manager who underwent four months of leadership coaching training reported lower stress, higher purpose, and higher resilience. Investing in coaching skills can also benefit leaders, as employees report more downward stress, higher purpose, and higher resilience after the training.

Examples of Leader Coaching Skills

Examples of leaders coaching skills include the following:

#1. Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is important when it comes to coaching, as it involves understanding one’s emotions and how they influence their ideas, behaviours, and actions.

Possessing emotional intelligence helps coaches and leaders understand team responses to decisions, methods, and projects. This helps the leaders navigate team challenges and buffer against issues, ultimately preventing them from occurring in the first place. Therefore, emotional intelligence is an essential skill for effective coaching and leadership.

#2. Providing and Receiving Feedback

Feedback is another key coaching skill that leads to long-lasting behavioural changes. It’s a complex task and requires significant time and effort to perfect. However, it significantly impacts employee performance and habits.

Providing and receiving feedback is essential for course corrections and improving oneself and others. Although it is often overlooked, feedback is particularly important in leadership, so investing in developing your ability to receive feedback is essential, as the feedback process goes in both directions.

#3. Active Listening 

A skilled coach must demonstrate superior active listening abilities to handle an issue effectively. It allows leaders to assess the problem better, understand it, and find a solution. It also directs leaders to ask appropriate open-ended questions.

For example, a worker struggling with a complex project may ask questions about the group’s priorities. Active listening helps identify discrepancies and allows employees to focus on developing relationships. Also, a leader can identify a group’s priorities by actively listening, and the employee can focus on developing relationships by asking insightful questions. This approach helps leaders and coaches better understand and address the issues, ultimately leading to better team outcomes.

#4. Innovation

Taking the initiative to create new ideas is another vital coaching skill. As an effective leader, you should be able to filter your thoughts and come up with inventive solutions to challenges. This might be facilitated by asking perceptive and open-ended questions of other people. You will encourage others and assist in retaining focus on a shared objective if you can create questions and concentrate on finding answers rather than focusing on issues.

#5. Ability to identify strengths and Weaknesses

A strong leader and coach will be able to guide their followers to their light and help them shine more brightly. The traditional approach to leadership, in which followers are instructed to identify and address their shortcomings, has become irrelevant and uninspiring. Today, leaders are expected to recognise and capitalise on the individuality and capabilities of each team member. This is done to guarantee that their employees excel in their professional lives and as the leaders of their personal lives.

#6. Involved Detachment

The act of soliciting feedback has the potential to awaken our inner critic and elicit emotionally charged responses from us. Because of this, the potential to grow as a leader may be taken away from us, and the trust that we have built up with our staff may be shattered. Hence, involved detachment is the most potent coaching skill any leader can develop to fight this issue. Involved detachment refers to being engaged emotionally while staying entirely nonjudgmental and objective. 

#7. Communication

Effective coaching relies heavily on clear and efficient communication. Successful coaches prioritise building solid relationships with their trainees, ensuring they clearly understand the direction they should take. Open and honest communication is considered the cornerstone of any productive working relationship, as it allows coachees to make necessary changes in their behaviour and avoid missing out on opportunities. Many of the world’s best coaches believe that with clear communication, coachees may have the insights to implement their coaching strategies effectively.

The Benefits of Good Coaching

Coaching in the workplace has numerous benefits that can significantly enhance employees’ performance and overall well-being. Here are some ways in which effective coaching can benefit all employees:

  • Coaching significantly improves leadership effectiveness, with studies showing a 55% increase in executive effectiveness after six months of coaching, contributing to a positive coaching culture within an organization.
  • With good coaching skills, a leader can enhance employee engagement by fostering loyalty and trust, increasing productivity and job satisfaction, and fostering a culture of connection within an organization.
  • Coaching fosters an engaging environment, reducing employee turnover. A Gallup report indicates that organizations that engage their employees through coaching reported less than 59% turnover.
  • Coaching aids in skill development, enhancing existing skillsets and enabling individuals to excel in their current areas, ultimately leading to improved job performance and career growth.
  • Effective feedback is crucial in fostering a coaching culture, as it promotes open communication, improved performance, and problem-solving among employees, thereby enabling a more productive work environment.
  • Coaching in the workplace is a highly effective strategy for supporting employees as they transition into new roles, providing them with the necessary tools to prepare for promotion and help them set new performance goals.
  • Good coaching leader fosters psychological safety and trust within a team, enabling employees to adopt new behaviours and mindsets by fostering confidence in leadership, thereby enhancing team dynamics and performance.

How Do You Coach Effectively?

If you’re ready to start implementing coaching skills in your workplace,

  • Identify your goals.
    Employee engagement surveys can identify areas for improvement, such as burnout, performance, and productivity. To improve your company’s coaching skills, evaluate these areas and reflect on what you want improved. This will help you determine the best path to enhancing coaching skills among your staff. Focusing on these areas, you can better understand and address employees’ unique challenges and work towards a more productive and successful workplace.
  • Evaluate your current coaching process.
    After setting objectives, research the areas where coaching is already in effect in your workforce. Check if executives include coaching in one-on-one meetings with their direct reports, how often coaching discussions are included in performance evaluations, and if your HR department incorporates coaching into professional development opportunities. Determine what steps are being taken to ensure continuous employee growth and learning.
  • Encourage professional development.
    To cultivate coaching skills among employees, investing in professional development for your workforce is crucial. This can be achieved through providing feedback training, incorporating business coaching into your strategy, and encouraging leaders to ask appropriate questions to help train their employees to invest in their personal growth. By doing so, you can ensure that your employees invest in their personal growth.
  • Be Flexible
    Those with whom you collaborate will benefit much from your awareness of the fact that things may occasionally shift unexpectedly and from your capacity to adapt to these shifts. It demonstrates that challenges can be readily conquered when working together and helps to establish trust among the team members.
  • Make feedback a priority.
    Feedback is essential to a significant portion of coaching. And even though feedback is essential to achieving any organisation’s goals, it is frequently avoided at all costs. Insist that your staff places a high focus on receiving feedback. Feedback can be the key to unlocking your team’s full potential when provided with the necessary assistance. 


Coaching skills are essential for personal and organizational growth, boosting productivity, employee morale, and goal achievement. Key coaching skills include emotional intelligence, feedback, active listening, innovation, identifying strengths and weaknesses, detachment, and effective communication. Additionally, effective coaching requires goal identification, evaluation, professional development, flexibility, and prioritizing feedback.


What are the five basic skills of coaching?

The five basic coaching skills include active listening, communication, involved detachment, innovation and receiving and providing feedback. These skills help coaches understand the team members’ perspective, set achievable goals, provide a supportive work environment, and enable organisational growth.

What skills make a good coach?

A good coach should possess confidence, positive motivation, observation, feedback, a structured approach, communication skills, a growth mindset, trustworthiness, professionalism, goal-orientedness, and compassion.

What are the 4 C’s of coaching?

The 4 C’s of coaching are competition, confidence, character, and connection. Competition drives motivation, confidence enables risk-taking, character development impacts performance, and connection fosters emotional bonds. In leadership, these four C’s guide leaders in a complex world, promoting connection, clarity, coaching, and commitment.


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