Become an Amazing Leadership Development Coach in 2021

Today the importance of leadership development in workplaces is more than ever before. Employees and managers have technical knowledge and excellence but many lack important leadership qualities.

Do you know why leadership development is important?

It is because only when we have great leaders we can proceed to better outcomes. Leadership is the quality that drives the entire workforce to achieve goals. Only with capable leaders, the expectations of an organization can meet.

Leadership development helps to overcome challenges. It helps to build a cohesive environment in the organization. As a result, the organization’s processes proceed smoothly.

Training and workshops are common ways for leadership development. But at times, these don’t bring many benefits.

Do you know the reason behind?

The reason is that trainers and workshops teach the same repeated theories. They may fail to tailor to a specific individual’s needs.

Every individual has their weakness. So, the need is for a more personalized way of teaching.

That’s where leadership development coaching helps.

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Leadership development coaches are professionals who coach individuals for developing their leadership qualities. They bring years of experience and sharp expertise to develop leadership qualities.

Through a customized approach they help coachees to perform better. They apply coaching techniques and conduct effective coaching sessions to bring a transformation.

Do you think that you have leadership qualities?

Did you guide your friends or juniors in the past?

Did you enjoy taking leadership in schools and colleges?

Do you think you can guide people to become great leaders in the workplace?



Then why not convert your passion into a profession by becoming a leadership development coach?

This article talks about all that you must know to become a leadership development coach. By the end, it will make you realize how wonderful becoming such a coach can be. Before we dive in, let’s first understand what is leadership development coaching.

What is leadership development coaching?

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Leadership development coaching is a process that coaches the leaders to achieve goals.

Now the questions arise – “Who are these leaders?”

A leader can be anyone who has the responsibility of managing a group. Leaders may include supervisors, managers, team leaders, business owners, etc.

Often the methods and approach of such leaders for leading the group may go wrong. They may even not realize this fact. This may welcome criticism from their team. The members may stop following the directions. Some way even lose trust in their leaders and may hold them accountable for failures.

Leadership development coaches coach leaders for developing their leadership qualities. Leadership development coaching helps leaders to become aware of their shortcomings.

Such coaching is a collaborative relationship between a leader and a coach. It is a partnership in which the coach and the coachee work together to achieve a set goal. The coaching includes strategies to bring a sustainable change in the coachee. The aim is to transform the quality of a leader’s working and personal life.

Leadership development coaching improves the skills and knowledge of the coachees. It provides a framework for effective work-life balance. It also helps in developing sound emotional intelligence. Such coaching help leaders at both interpersonal as well as organizational level.

What leadership development coaching is not?

  • Technical guidance
  • Career counseling
  • Consulting
  • Mentoring
  • Or training

Then what is the correct way of defining leadership development coaching?

It is a partnership. A partnership that helps individuals to achieve short and long-term organizational goals.

Benefits of leadership development coaching

Flow-on effect

Such coaching helps to create effective leaders and healthier organizations. When leaders improve, the benefits spread across the organization. Exposing the senior leaders to coaching creates a flow-on effect. This creates a coaching culture within the organization itself.

Leaders pass on the skills that they learn during the coaching process to their team members. This leads to improved performance and better outcomes.

Personalized attention

Today many organizations are looking to operate at pick performance. They look coaching as a viable option for this.

Training and workshops are more general in nature. They have the same material for all the people. Whereas coaching is tailored to a specific person. Coaching analyses each individual and help him/her to discover true potential.

The coaching process challenges the clients and pulls them out of their comfort zone. It encourages clients to welcome change and become better corporate citizens.

Who is a leadership development coach?

Leadership development coaches are the ones who drive the development coaching process. They get into one-to-one engagement with leaders for transforming them into better leaders. Such coaches often act as “confidential thinking partners” for their coachees.

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A leadership development coach coaches clients to :

  • Develop a more effective leadership style and approach
  • Improve social and communication skills
  • Boost personal development
  • Create amazing workers
  • Manage difficult people
  • Strike a work-life balance
  • Improve presentation and networking skills
  • Improve conflict- management and negotiation skills
  • Strengthen confidence, self-awareness, and positiveness

What skills do you need to become a leadership development coach?

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Without the proper skill set, you would not be able to become a hirable coach. Let’s have a look at the important skills that you must have.

Communication skills

You have to be an excellent communicator. You will get diverse clients. Some may be extroverts others ay be introverts. You must be able to communicate well your intentions and goals to your client.

Communication isn’t one way, right? You must also be able to encourage clients to speak their side of the story.

Inefficient communication may result in misunderstandings. Remain crisp and clear.

Remember that your tone and attitude matter a lot. You will get difficult clients. Communicating your ideology, process, and plan with them would be even difficult. You will have to keep a lot of patience. Take criticism and resistance in a positive way. Always speak in a gentle tone. Focus on the right choice of words. Let the clients realize that you care to bring a transformation in him/her.

Influencing and Negotiation skills

Good leadership development coaches don’t command authority. They inspire and encourage others.

Great leaders know that more than power, influence matters. They know how a negotiation process should work to lead to a win-win situation.

You must practice what you preach. If you are coaching clients to develop the above skills, first you must have them in you.

Conflict management skills

You will get clients who are difficult to manage. Thy many encourage you to get into conflicts. Some may be very short-tempered. The situations of some clients may force them to behave this way. These are generally clients who think that there’s no scope for a transformation. They want to change but they don’t know how to do it. They will often resist your coaching process and blame you for the failures.

A leadership development coach must have conflict management skills. This has two-fold advantages. Not only it will help in your coaching process but also you will be an example for your coachee. He/she will learn to manage and resolve conflicts by taking inspiration from you. This will mold him/her to become a better leader.

Change management skills

You would gradually find your coaching process evolving. You may have a plan in the beginning but you may have to make certain tweaks. You will face many changes as sessions with the clients proceed. You must learn to adapt to changes.

You may even face difficult situations. You may not get clients. Or your coaching business might not bring you much. You must have change management skills. This will help you to deal with unpredictable situations.

Time management skills

For any coach, time is valuable. You must make proper time-investment.

Ask yourself:

How much time do you spend with existing clients?

How much time do you spend on getting new clients?

How much time do you spend on branding and marketing?

Manage your time and schedule well. This will help you to get efficient results in all the areas related to your coaching practice.

Questioning and listening skills

Do you want to know the best way to understand the situations of your clients?

Well, the way is by asking great coaching questions.

You must ask great coaching questions. These will help you to understand aspects of leadership that need development. At the same time, listen to what your coachee says. Don’t be in a rush to get to the next question.

By questioning and listening to the clients, you can understand the situations well.

Analyzing skills

After you have identified the pain points of the clients, the next step is to analyze them.


What is the cause?

What options are available?

What can be potential alternatives?

What are the strengths and weaknesses of the client?

What aspects should you focus on to transform the client into a better leader?

Analyze the situations well with the end goal in your mind.

Have a look at some must-have coaching skills that makes a great coach. Also, remain abreast of the top coaching trends in the coaching industry.

Five principals of leadership development coaching that you must know

There are certain principals in leadership development coaching. Including them in your coaching practice will guide your coaching process. Let’s have a look at these principals.

Align with the coachee’s agenda

Remember that the coaching sessions are not about you. Let the coachee decide which goals to work on. Also, let him/her share how to go about improving. Do not impose your priorities on the relationship.

Of course, you can suggest ways for overcoming hurdles. You can also tell the coachee if he/she is going wrong somewhere. But let the coachee come up with ideas and plans.

Most of the times the answers to the coachee’s questions are around. A leadership development coach helps the coachee to discover those answers.


The ultimate choice should rest on the coachee. A leadership development coach should only act as a facilitator or collaborator. Do not act as an expert or give direct answers. Focus on the coachee’s needs and avoid filling the sessions with your theories.

Advocate self-awareness

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Being self-aware of one’s strengths and weaknesses is a skill for any good leader. Exhibit a sense of awareness in yourself. In this way, you will be able to foster in your coachee a similar self-awareness.

Focus on experiences

Promote learning from experiences. Help your coachee to analyze the past experiences. Ask them to reflect on what went well and what didn’t. Experience learning is one of the best ways to improve the leadership skills of clients.

Model what you coach

Model the leadership lessons outside the coaching sessions. Remember to practice what you preach. The leadership qualities that you try to develop in your clients must first be in you.

Why do people hire leadership development coaches?

Curious to know why would someone hire a leadership development coach like you? It is because of the immense benefits that the coach’s role brings.

Do you want to know what are these?

Let’s have a look.


Edit with permission to post from Oladimeji Odunsi. Original work by
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Leadership development coaches empower leaders to do exceptional work. Coaches use effective coaching tools to help clients discover their true potential. They create goals and help clients to track the process. Coaches develop a helpful relationship that helps clients achieve a much-needed transformation.

Fresh Insight

Leaders gain new perspectives from the coach. If a client is having a bad day, the coach helps him/her to sit back and reflect. Analyzing the situation through different perspectives often helps in finding a deeper problem. The coach then builds a plan to tackle similar problems in the future.

Free thinking

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Coaches encourage free thinking in the clients. This reduces narrow-minded thinking. They encourage clients to consider different thought patterns and other’s views. This encourages flexible leadership. Flexible leadership is important for decision making.

Enhanced performance

Leadership development coaching makes a great difference in attitude and abilities. Coaches help clients to learn and put in place new techniques. These are tailored around the clients’ weaknesses. These allow the clients to avoid words like “no”, “but”, “yet”. Coaching results in a transformation in the personality and behavior of the leader. This transformation is worth investing in.

How to become an amazing leadership development coach?

There are many coaches in the market today.

How will you differentiate yourself from others?

The answer to the above question is by following some effective strategies. I have discussed a few such below. Let’s have a look at these strategies.

Understand the context of leading in an organization

It is important to understand the context in which your clients are operating. This doesn’t mean that you need to be an expert in their industry. But, you must have some sort of leadership experience in an organization.

They are unique challenges that leaders face. These include company politics and navigating complex situations. You would not be able to understand them if you know these in theories. Some sort of previous experience will help you to understand the context better.

Know leadership

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Your work experience as a leader will add to your coaching certificate. But experience may not be enough to help someone develop their leadership. You must also try to learn the basic fundamentals of leadership.

Understand basic concepts like emotional intelligence, organizational behavior, and models of leadership. In this way, you can act as a big pool of resources for your clients. This will help them to develop greater leadership range.

Exhibit self-mastery

Self-awareness and self-monitoring are important for a coach. You must spend time doing some deep work on yourself before you attempt to help others.

Ask yourself these questions:

Do you personalize interactions?

Do you have to prove to the client how competent you are?

Do you have self-doubt while dealing with certain people?

Are you aware of your judgments? Do you self-monitor them?

Have a sound coaching philosophy

You have to develop a sound coaching philosophy to outperform other coaches. Learn, develop, apply, and keep refining your coaching philosophy.

Your coaching philosophy should include the below factors:

  • Define your purpose, vision, and mission
  • Core values and beliefs
  • Values and benefits that your clients can expect while working with you.

Know how to create a coaching philosophy and articulate them to your clients.

Design a coaching method and process

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A coach needs to have a thoughtful coaching method and process to achieve success. You can also reach out to different coaches and study their methods. Set processes that you think will best suit your target audience.

Consider the following while building a coaching method and process:

  • Consider how you will go about determining the best coach-client match.
  • A method to check what challenges and problems will you solve.
  • How will you ensure accountabilities for both coach and client?
  • How will you address confidentiality issues?
  • Metrics based on which you will check the performance.
  • Method to align your coaching philosphy with a coaching framework
  • Methods to define behaviors necessary for results.
  • The best method to define and execute organizational success.

Define a consistent pricing model

A pricing model for your coaching business is a must. It will help you to make the maximum out of your coaching business.

There are different types of pricing models that you can choose from.

  • Package pricing model (also known as a lump-sum pricing model)
  • Daily/weekly pricing model
  • Hourly-rate pricing model
  • Membership pricing model
  • Performance-based pricing model

Pricing will depend on various factors. Some of them include:

  • Your coaching model (one-to-one, online coaching, etc.)
  • Your background and credentials
  • No. of years of coaching experience
  • Type of clients (individuals or organizations)
  • Market prices
  • Affordability rates of your target audience.

It is important that you set competitive pricing. Don’t undersell your talent or abilities. Know the correct way of pricing and packaging your coaching services.

Should you go for coaching certifications?

Well, that is a personal choice. I won’t say that coaching certificates don’t matter but your skills and experience matter more. As you proceed in your coaching journey, you will realize this fact yourself.

Convincing client-testimonies will help you to build a big customer base than certificates. Though coaching certificates add to your credibility they are not a necessity.

No piece of paper can determine your worth. People will know you by the results that you bring. I would recommend focusing on building a solid coaching practice instead of certificates.

Decide carefully whether you need certificates or not in 2021.

How much does a leadership development coach earn?

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As per Glassdoor, the national average salary of a leadership development coach is $62,448 in the USA. The amount that you make will depend a lot on your skills, knowledge, experience, and pricing.

If you are a newbie it may take time to earn a handsome amount. Be patient. Focus on getting your first ideal clients fast. Build marketing strategies to reach your target audience. Establish strong feedback and referral system to gain more clients.

Keep updating your coaching process as per the feedback. Reflect on the shortcomings and trust your strengths.

There will be difficult times. Let not any individual or situation demotivate you. Keep trying and one day everything would be worth facing. Trust me 🙂

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