The Difference Between Coaching and Leadership: Meaning, Purpose, and How It Works

The Difference Between Coaching and Leadership: Meaning, Purpose, and How It Works

Coaching aims to provide support, suggest innovative strategies to take the company or business to the next level and hold the client accountable consistently so that they remain motivated and focused on their goal. So, what is coaching? Coaching is a process that helps identify the gaps in the coachee’s knowledge and supports them in learning the skills they need. Leadership, on the other hand, is more about setting direction, creating the vision and objectives for the people a leader is leading. A leader as a coach promotes growth and development by becoming an example of excellence.  

What does coaching mean? The purpose of coaching is to help the client set realistic goals and support them while they create their own path to achieve those goals and coaches use different coaching methods for that. The purpose of leading on the other hand is setting the goals for the people being led and showing them the way to achieve those goals. A leader acts as a coach when they focus on helping their team to grow rather than just focusing on achieving the goals.

Coaching, especially coaching in education works by supporting people, motivating them, and keeping them focused on their goals by holding them accountable. Leadership works by staying dedicated to your vision, mission, and objectives, and formulating effective strategies in order to help your team to turn your vision into reality. Leadership coaching combines both leadership and coaching to turn managers into better leaders.

So, how to find a coach? Finding a coach is not easy, especially a good one with lots of experience. The best way to find a leadership coach is to first understand what you need, i.e. what your objectives are. Then, conduct thorough research about the credentials of the coach, which includes their educational background, their coaching certificate, and their advanced training.

You need to get a coach when you want to grow as a person and as a professional. You need to be aware of different coaching methods to begin your search for the right coach according to your needs. Leadership, on the other hand, is needed when you want to be pushed out of your comfort zone, feel challenged, and follow directions in order to achieve a certain objective.t  

What Is Coaching?

Coaching is a process of training an individual or a group of them in order to help them to learn certain skills to increase their productivity or to overcome a performance problem that is hindering them from succeeding. Coaching is not feeding the information to the coachee and just plainly providing them with all they need; it is more about helping them learn and grow themselves.

So, what is coaching? Coaching is a method to motivate the targeted change in the coachee and help them reach their goals. Coaching increases self-awareness and promotes growth by holding the person being coached accountable and by providing them with constructive feedback. Coaching works with the help of observation, analysis, and suggesting improvements.

What Is the Purpose of Coaching?

The purpose of coaching is to empower people and make them more effective so that they are able to bring a positive difference within themselves and in the world around them. What does coaching mean? Coaching means to achieve the outcome for which you are getting the services of a coach. 

There are different outcomes that you expect from a coaching relationship, such as being able to set SMART goals and develop an actionable plan to achieve those goals, getting rid of limiting beliefs and perceptions, and growing in the direction you want to grow. The outcomes of coaching are a change in a person’s thoughts, beliefs, and insights, as well as a difference in observable behavior and in concrete actions.

How Does Coaching Work?

Coaching works by enabling the individual to find the solutions to their problem, removing the obstacles in the way, and unlocking their full potential. Good coaches believe that the coachee is already aware of what they need to achieve their goals, and only needs a little help to uncover their own knowledge and maximize their potential. Coaches use tools and techniques with the help of which they increase their coachee’s self-awareness.

Coaches provide their clients with clarity about their goals and course of action and make them aware of the choices they make, as well as the consequences of those choices. Additionally,  coaches hold their clients accountable so that they remain productive and keep striving in order to become the best version of themselves.

Why Do I Need Coaching?

You need coaching to help you set clear goals, create a clear action plan to achieve your goals, increase life and job satisfaction, become more productive, accelerate the process of personal and professional growth, communicate more effectively, boost self-confidence, and keep up with your commitments. Coaching helps the coachee in self-reflection which results in personal and professional growth.

Coaching makes you more mentally fit by sharing your mental pressure and by enabling you to deal with your problems effectively. You need to get a coach to empower you, find your own answers, and determine and achieve what success looks like for you.

Difference Between Coaching and Leadership

What Are the Benefits of Coaching?

The most important benefits of coaching include being able to establish and achieve personal and professional goals, an increased level of engagement, a safe place to share your perspective and gain insight, developing a habit of self-reflection, and receiving support to develop target skills. The most important benefits of coaching are given below.

Difference Between Coaching and Leadership

What Are the Skills of a Coach?

The skills of a coach include effective communication, active listening, giving constructive feedback, asking innovative questions, guiding the coachee in the right direction, and flexibility. The coaching method a coach uses is centered around these coaching skills. Some of the essential skills for coaches are given below.

What Are the Responsibilities of a Coach?

The responsibilities of a coach include facilitating learning, holding the coachee accountable, providing guidance when a leader takes an important decision, and giving feedback on a regular basis in order to promote individual and organizational growth.

Is Coaching Considered the Same as Leadership? 

No, coaching is not considered the same as leadership. Good leaders sometimes follow a coaching leadership style with the help of which they empower their employees and cultivate a culture of self-reflection and growth. However, it is not coaching. You have to look at the big picture, follow a vision, and make important decisions as a leader.

A coach, on the other hand, plays the role of an unbiased facilitator and guide who supports and facilitates the person being coached in their journey of learning, without affecting any of the internal organizational systems the coachee is affiliated with. Leaders sometimes follow a leadership coaching style in which they incorporate coaching in order to become more effective, but coaching and leadership are two entirely different processes.

What Is Leadership? 

Leadership is the ability of a person to influence and guide people in order to achieve a certain goal or to turn a specific vision into reality. Leaders set direction, articulate vision and keep people motivated for growth. Leadership in a business setting means taking people along in a certain direction in order to achieve the goals of the company.

So, what is leadership? Leadership is more than simply leading people in a certain direction. It is a process of inspiring and helping others to become the best versions of themselves. Effective leadership is crucial for a business to succeed since it paves the path for innovation and positive change. It promotes new ideas while keeping an eye on the everyday-evolving market trends and motivates people to grow at a fast pace.

What Is the Purpose of Leadership?

The purpose of leadership is to achieve results by motivating and empowering people and to use the company’s resources for improving performance and increasing the overall efficiency of the employees. 

A leader supports the people around them to develop holistically and to learn at a fast pace to keep up with a constantly changing world. Leadership involves problem-solving, creativity, delegating responsibility, and cultivating a culture of learning in the organization.

How Does Leadership Work?

Leadership works by setting direction, creating a vision, and supporting others to move forward in the desired direction by showing an exemplary attitude. Leaders determine realistic goals and then inspire others to achieve those goals. Leadership does not work by strict rules of hierarchy and it is not handed over to you by virtue of your position in an organization.

Leadership is a set of characteristics that you possess that help you play a certain role. Leadership works by the actions a leader takes in a certain role which makes them effective and encourages the people around them to follow their example. Leadership does not mean to succeed alone, but it is to enable others to succeed with you. Leadership means constantly adapting and changing according to the circumstances. It is dynamic and inspiring.

Difference Between Coaching and Leadership

Why Do I Need Leadership Skills? 

You need leadership skills because of their benefits, which include direction, introducing change, and keeping the morale of the team high. Leaders help build a supportive work environment and facilitate effective communication among the team members which is essential to function smoothly and become productive.

So, what are the benefits of leadership? Effective leaders provide guidance to their team members at each step which increases efficiency and decreases the chance of making mistakes. Leaders keep people motivated and strive to improve themselves so that they are able to present themselves as a good example for others. Strong leadership inspires hard work and keeps the employees on track by holding them accountable.

Difference Between Coaching and Leadership

What Are the Skills of a Leader?

The most important skills of a leader include the ability to communicate, strategic thinking, creativity and innovation, flexibility, integrity, and decisiveness. Some of the important skills that are a must-have for a leader are given below.

What Are the Responsibilities of a Leader?

The most important responsibilities of a leader include identifying the goals and evaluating the progress of the team, working on developing strengths and improving weaknesses, resolving conflicts, and taking initiative. The responsibilities of a leader are described in more detail below.

Is Leadership a Skill?

Yes, leadership is a skill that must be taught and developed over time. Some people are born with the qualities that help them to acquire leadership skills better but these qualities must be learned and polished by constant training, practice, and repetition. People do not become good leaders overnight, and they must acquire certain skills in order to grow in the role of a leader.

Do Leaders Need a Coach? 

Yes, leaders need a coach in order to keep growing in a constantly changing world. Coaches help leaders to understand their employees better, and support them in learning and developing themselves professionally. Coaches enable leaders to expand their horizons, set clear goals and clarify the company’s vision. Having a coach by your side as a leader is the same as having a trusted partner and facilitator, which eventually turns you into a coach for your team and thus your team members benefit from the coaching service you receive as well.

How to Find a Leadership Coach?

The best way to find a leadership coach is to first understand what you need, i.e. what your objectives are. The next step in finding a leadership coach is to understand the coach’s niche and specific area of expertise. It’s important that the coach you choose is aware of the ups and downs of your particular industry and has experience in working with leaders of your caliber. 

So, how to find a coach for yourself or, better yet, how to find a leadership coach? Start by conducting thorough research about the credentials of the coach, which includes their educational background, their coaching certificate, and their advanced training. This shows how dedicated the coach is to improving their craft and whether or not they suit your unique needs. Keep in mind that coaching is an unregulated industry, so do not choose a coach who has a massive social following but does not appear to focus on the technicalities of coaching. Lastly, speak on a one-on-one basis with several coaches before you make your decision so that you are well aware of their expertise, background, and their coaching philosophy.

How to Find a Coach?

The journey of finding a coach starts with the clients themselves, as they must begin their search by identifying their own goals first which they want to achieve with the help of a coach. Use your network and ask for recommendations in order to find a coach who suits your specific needs. You need to think about the end result of your coaching journey and must be aware of the change you want to make in your life by coaching. 

Find yourself a coach who has a healthy combination of the right background, expertise, dedication, and boundaries. Lastly, choose a coach who is a perfect fit for your specific goals. For example, if you need to improve your mental health and need to have a good work-life balance, you must go for a life coach and not a business coach.

Is There a Certification for Leadership Coaches? 

Yes, there is a certification for leadership coaches and there are several institutes around the world that offer ICF-accredited leadership training and certifications.  Some of the best leadership training programs include the Leadership Coach Training Program offered by CFI (Coaching Foundation India), the Leadership Coaching Training Program by the University of San Diego, the Training Program by the Institute of Executive Coaching and Leadership, the Leadership Coaching Certificate Program offered by Rutgers University and Leadership Certification, Online Course by Alison.

Is the Certification Recognized Around the World?

Yes, all the institutes that offer ICF-accredited training courses and certification, certificates are recognized and accepted around the world. What is International Coaching Federation?ICF is the International Coaching Federation that regulates coaching training and certification processes. It aims to develop a worldwide network of trained coaching professionals.  

Alexis Fedor

Founder & CEO

Alexis Fedor

Founder & CEO

Alexis Fedor is an award winning performance artist and writer from New York City. She is the founder of Artists In Business, a company focused on helping artists create online businesses with their art through online courses and group coaching. Alexis is the creator of the renowned Profit Canvas Mentorship, which has helped hundreds of artists create profitable businesses with their art, and the AIB Jumpstart, a membership experience designed to help artists get their businesses prepped for profitability. Alexis lives in New York City among many friends, family, and two cats.