The styles of leadership and commitments that breed a coaching culture

September 9, 2019 admin No comments exist

You will recall that Daniel Goleman is one of the key figures to have researched and worked on the impact of emotional intelligence in our lives. Linked with this and from further research that he did on 3,871 executives, he arrived at a model of six leadership styles that he was able to identify. Goleman said that each of these styles has different emotional intelligence competencies. All the styles also have an impact on the culture in all organisations including schools. The six styles are Coercive, Visionary, Democratic, Affiliative, Pacesetting, and Coaching.

What this means

It may seem obvious that the leadership style that is most likely to breed a coaching culture within the school is coaching itself. But this is not wholly true. In fact, Goleman says that the most effective leaders use all of these six styles at different times and in different situations. Developing a coaching culture in a school will therefore require the headteacher and senior leadership team to employ a rich blend of all of the six styles.

And alongside these leadership styles, it is essential, for the successful development of coaching in a school, that the headteacher and senior leadership team must have the five commitments shown on the right.

Why it is important

My experience is that any attempt to bring about an embedded culture of coaching in a school will wither and die without the full commitment and support from all senior leaders including the headteacher. The coaching culture will thrive if it is nurtured and monitored on a regular basis.

5 commitments

  1. I will emphasise that coaching is essential for the positive growth of my school.


  1. I am fully committed to developing a coaching culture in my school.


  1. I will formulate, with my colleagues, a plan for the development of coaching in the school.


  1. I will set up systems, that include training, to enable coaching to take place.


  1. I will support and encourage my colleagues to actively participate in coaching as coaches and coachees.
How to use this

As a headteacher or senior leader in a school do you believe that the five commitments are important and can you stand by them? Do all your senior leaders in the school share your beliefs? If the answer to both of these questions is yes, then great, I am confident that you will have success. Spend time with the senior leaders exploring their thoughts and commitments with regard to coaching. It is also a good idea to write these commitments down on cards and treat them as affirmations that you repeat to yourself.




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