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Leadership Coaching Skills – in a minute!

Leadership coaching skills are always in demand. Here in this manage in a minute tip, we’ll outline the key skills essential to effective coaching.

Coaching is a process which enables people to improve their skills and achieve their goals. To do this effectively you need to combine a good process with the right leadership coaching skills.

One helpful way to do this is to use our 5 P’s of leadership coaching.

The 5 P’s of Leadership Coaching

One useful way to think about coaching is to use the 5 P’s approach.  The 5 P’s of leadership coaching are:

1 Preparation – deciding together on what should be discussed at the leadership coaching session.  Gathering information and wherever possible objective evidence of progress to date.  Reviewing the plans for previous discussions. You need to develop the skills of reviewing performance and of questioning to draw from the participant their own assessment of progress.

2 Presence – making sure as a coach that you give undivided attention, conveying that the coaching session is important, and listening attentively. Here the skill sof active listening are essential. Make sure you body language is supportive and that you do give you undivided attention. Sounds easy? Often in practice this takes discipline!

3 Practice – planning when and how new skills, knowledge and behaviours can be practiced to develop competence and confidence. Encoruage the partcipant to plan how they will improve their skills. Step in to support where you are able to provide resource and/or encouragement.

4 Play-back – provide feedback on how someone is progressing and developing. Providing feedback is a crucial skills. Focus on emphasising what is being done well.

5 Perform – the aim of coaching is to see someone apply their skills in activities that make a contribution to the performance of the team and the organisation.  How do they have an impact on performance?


Done properly, leadership coaching is a very effective way to help people develop.

Leadership coaching skills

Leadership Coaching requires you to:

  • Provide people with regular contact,
  • Explore their progress
  • Help them to decide how to develop further.

If you want to find out more about coaching read our article: Coaching For Leadership where we discuss how coaching for leaders, existing or potential, should be a key priority for any organisation. Or you may find this coaching and mentoring fact-sheet from the CIPD useful.

This tip is from our Manage in a Minute section. Pressed for time? You’ll find tips to let you cut to the essentials so you get helpful, practical advice quickly!

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