Developing and Building Leadership Coaching Muscle

An organization is like a body, with managers as the musculoskeletal system providing structure, support, and direction. Like any system, what you put into it matters, so companies that invest in leadership coaching reap benefits throughout their corporate physique. Though it takes commitment to foster a coaching culture, the long-term gains make it a worthy investment.

Like a personal trainer designing workouts to match capabilities and goals, a great coaching manager assesses each employee’s strengths, weaknesses, and motivations. Situational, one-on-one coaching conversations allow managers to: 

  • customize problem-solving strategies
  • increase accountability
  • develop opportunities to maximize each person’s potential and performance 


The true value comes in the form of a coaching approach that replaces command-and-control directing with collaborative plan development.

For managers accustomed to providing solutions while closely monitoring work, coaching requires a shift in mindset. Rather than telling employees what to do, managers should ask impactful questions to illuminate challenges and unlock untapped potential. This method echoes a trainer’s corrective tips as they monitor proper technique on the weight bench. Managers suppress the urge to micromanage and instead micro-coach and make themselves available as a sounding board while employees learn and grow.

This autonomy and accountability foster greater commitment, innovation, and capability. Employees coached through complex assignments gain skills and judgment that make future projects easier. They build confidence to handle ambiguous problems versus simply following protocol. Whereas an authoritative manager hoards power, coaching develops leadership across the entire team.

Realizing these benefits takes time and consistency. Managers must recognize when employees need directive instructions versus coaching through challenges themselves. Like a trainer adjusting reps and weight between beginner and advanced athletes, managers must challenge without overwhelming. Patience is required to let employees work through mistakes that often precede growth. 

Transitioning to a coaching culture requires training for both managers and team members. Managers need development in essential skills like creating a shared vision, active listening, powerful questioning, assessing team needs, optimal delegation, and frequent collaborative feedback. Employees benefit from onboarding on the coaching process, which may initially feel less efficient than simply being told what to do.

A body benefits from the right balance of exertion and rest. Likewise, organizations need a mix of coaching and directing managerial styles based on employee capabilities and situational demands. However, just as lack of exercise weakens muscles, teams flounder without the developmental benefits of coaching. Companies that commit to developing great leadership coaching will outperform competitors still relying on outdated command-and-control methods. Just like an athlete with a gifted trainer, an organization with strong coaching muscles developed throughout its management ranks will sustain championship performance over the long run. This developmental advantage accrues compounded returns that make investing in a coaching culture well worth the effort.

If you are looking to develop the leadership coaching muscle within your organization, we would love to connect and speak with you about our NeuroCoaching™ Program.  In the NeuroCoaching™ Program, a key area of focus is on the importance of Journey-Based Conversations™.  Journey-Based Conversations™ is a modern approach to coaching that leverages current advances in neuroscience to help maximize each team member’s potential through forward-looking, individualized, situational, and performance-based conversations. Quite simply, it will transform your managers into world-class coaches and revolutionize your Coaching Climate™.  Learn more at

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