Coaching – a Core Competency to Develop Future Leaders

Leadership renewal has been a greatly discussed topic for many organizations; and organizational changes usually happen with the leadership renewal process. In fact, many organizations use this leadership renewal process to determine key leadership competencies to be future ready. As the workforce slowly populates with Generation Z workers, it is imperative for organizations seeking renewal, to be more prepared in anticipating what the younger generations are seeking for.

It is observed that coaching, as a leadership competency, seems well-suited to develop young talents preparing for leadership roles. The process of coaching invites self-reflection and self-assessment, which helps individuals grow in personal wisdom and performance for sustained personal effectiveness. Through this, the individual is able to apply their self-discovered solutions, and ideas to different situations and contexts they encounter. For the purpose of developing future talents, present leaders should consider the need to develop coaching skills for themselves as well.


Why Coaching is key to developing Leadership Competency?

1. Empowerment prized over Instruction

The newest member of the workforce, Generation Z, grew up having access to an infinite amount of information. Turning to Google and other social media platforms for answers are lifestyles that this generation grows up with. It could also mean that they prefer self-directed learning, though they might fact-check with what their parents, teachers and managers told them. In fact, they might even challenge what people in authority says. On top of that, the widespread of voices in the digital world including platforms like YouTube and Tik Tok also add to the multitude of voices. As such, the greater need is learning how to better process and discern the immense amount of information within the digital world. Having grown up with these lenses mean that the new generation of workers may prefer not to be instructed. What this then means is that, this new generation seeks empowerment over instruction.

By using coaching skills in the right situations, leaders can effectively help young talents find their own voices. Putting on a coaching hat releases the burden of leaders needing to have all the answers and telling employees what to do. Instead, coaching helps leaders connect with people, partner with them to co-create solutions, and support them to grow. Ultimately, coaching seeks to empower employees to take ownership by challenging people to come up with their own answers.


2. Wisdom prized over Knowledge

The conventional way of education is based on the idea that information is highly inaccessible. The professors and experts are highly respected and revered. In today’s digital world, the new generation of workers are recognizing that more information may not necessarily mean greater wisdom. Knowledge and wisdom are distinct. The new generation sees wisdom as the ability to process information and generate insights. They prize wisdom above being knowledgeable. After all, gaining knowledge is now perceived as googling.

The conventional downloading approach thrives on the concept of putting information and knowledge into people; coaching, however thrives on the idea of drawing out wisdom. The downloading approach sees people as empty containers that need to be filled (an example – giving advice); coaching sees people like a search engine, a good input can draw out and unlock their potential.

To attract and engage talents, it’s imperative that leaders are able to help the young develop wisdom. Considerably, coaching is a skill that leaders use to achieve this outcome. They do that by asking good questions.


3. Listening prized over Speaking

Some might imagine great leaders to be TED speakers who present data and tell stories in a certain compelling way. Previously, many of us might associate effective communication with the ability to speak well. With that we might have undervalued the importance of listening. In this world of crowded noise today, more people are looking for leaders who would listen with empathy, and make them feel that they are heard. Great listening skills are a prerequisite for good coaching. Listening is an important component that needs to be practiced in coaching. In listening, trust is built and relationships are deepened.

As leaders, parents, or educators, coaching skills will greatly increase our ability to build and deepen relationships with those we care about.


Invest into the Future

Increasingly, more and more organizations are recognizing the need for coaching as a key leadership competency to develop future leaders. Undeniably coaching is perhaps more sustainable and effective in the context of generating trust, enhancing team collaboration, increasing productivity and engaging young talents.

As an organization leader, how are you preparing and nurturing your next generation of leaders?



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