Relational coaching: transformative leadership development

Why relational coaching?

Through our experience of working with over 400 professional service firms, we have extensive knowledge about the unique culture and structure in which business operates. As well as leaders being able to create a compelling commercial strategy, we notice high performing leaders increasingly want to deepen their awareness about the relational nature of their role. Leaders want to enhance the quality of their relationships in order to inspire and motivate their teams and clients. Leaders come to us with questions such as:

  • How can I lead the firm in an increasingly unpredictable and competitive market? How do I lead in a new and fresh way?
  • How can I develop and engage with the next generation of talent who think and behave differently?
  • What leadership skills create resilience for a team when more is being asked of them with less resource and at increased speed?
  • How can I deepen the trust and rapport in the relationships I build across the firm and in the market?
  • What can I do to manage career transition positively and productively?
  • How can I develop my skills to engage in challenging conversations?
  • How can I do this with greater ease and confidence?
  • What can I do to grow more collaborative and integrated teams?
  • What are the ways in which I can influence others to work differently?

One to one coaching provides a valuable opportunity for an individual to work alongside a coach to explore the questions which they are seeking clarity and insight to.

What is relational coaching?

Relational coaching emphasises the developmental importance of the relationship between the coach and coachee. Through creating a relationship based on trust, openness, and honesty the coach is able to explore how the coachee relates to others and to themselves. The coachee is invited to reflect deeply about their beliefs and explore how these shape their interpersonal skills. The coach uses themselves as a ‘tool’ in order to offer feedback in the moment about the experience of the relationship they are co-creating.

Drawing upon research from the fields of coaching, psychology, therapy and neuroscience our coaching approach is based on the principles of exploring client awareness, authenticity and agility.

Awareness:

To understand how we relate to others, it is essential to understand how we relate to ourselves. Coaching enables the client to identify their core values and how this can shape both a helpful and destructive mindset. In addition, developing awareness of personal values can enable the client to create an ‘inner compass’ which becomes a reference point during decision making, communicating and as a source of confidence when faced with challenging situations.

Authenticity:

Coaching provides the opportunity to explore how to shift from transactional ‘give and take’ relationships to transformative relationships which inspire, energise, and motivate others. The coaching relationship provides ‘real time’ feedback for the client to explore how to engage in whole hearted, genuine conversations. In addition, coaching can lead to the identification of what personal obstacles may prevent fully authentic communication, influencing and collaboration.

Authenticity is a central principle of the highly influential research of James MacGregor Burns (link to web page) which emphasises the importance of values based and authentic leadership to inspire and motivate others to work towards shared goals.

Agility:

Together the coach and coachee can explore habits that have become an automatic response to situations which may no longer be productive. Coaching provides an opportunity to develop new insights in how to think, act and engage differently rather than falling into the trap of believing that doing more of the same will be successful.

How does relational coaching work?

A coaching engagement is tailored according to the requirements of the coachee and the organisation. The steps of an example engagement are:

  • A coachee need is identified, and the coach is approached for an initial ‘chemistry’ meeting
  • A chemistry meeting takes place between the coach and coachee to explore coaching goals and how they can work together.
  • A three -way meeting takes place between the coach, coachee, and the sponsor of the coaching e.g. Practice Head. This may include other relevant individuals and/or feedback to discuss and agree coaching goals.
  • Coaching meetings take place over a 3-6-month period depending on the nature of the engagement. A mid-point review takes place to ensure progress is being made.
  • A coaching review takes the form of a final three-way meeting to explore progress and identify next steps.

Our coaches

Our coaches have extensive experience of working in the professional service firms’ sector and have completed accredited coaching qualifications. Our coaches maintain excellence through regular supervision and continuing professional development. We draw upon academic research in the fields of psychology, therapy, and neuroscience  as well as keeping up to date with business developments in the market.

(link to the university)