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What Is Your Coaching Style?

By Numly - Leadership Coaching Group
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Last year over 47 million people in the US quit their job. It was popularly known as the ‘Great Resignation.’ 

The great resignation had several implications on projects. For instance, there were concerns about project deliverables getting delayed.

In a fast-paced environment, leaders are under pressure to constantly innovate and meet customer demands quickly to stay ahead of the competition. In such situations, leaders cannot afford their talent to leave midway. To add to the woes, hiring new talent and training them could further delay the project. There’s also the concern about increasing the skills gap. As more organizations become digital-first, leaders struggle to fill those positions.

Leaders need to engage and retain their existing employees in times like these, and the best way to do that is through coaching. There are various benefits of taking the coaching approach.

  • Leaders can cultivate a culture of continuous learning. They can determine the learning goals for the employees, create actionable goals, and ensure that the goals are met. This will help in upskilling the existing employees and bridging the gaps.
  • With coaching, leaders can build deep and meaningful engagement with employees. They can determine the employee’s learning journey and help them find a way to fulfill it. It allows employees to grow in their careers and move to the next level. Leaders can reduce the attrition rate by building trustworthy relationships with employees.
  • Coaching can help build high-performing teams that can thrive in a hyper-competitive landscape and successfully achieve business goals.

In Daniel Goleman’s words, “coaching leaders help employees identify their unique strengths and weaknesses and tie them to their personal and career aspirations. They encourage employees to establish long-term development goals and help them conceptualize a plan for attaining them.”

Given the need for coaching, leaders need to don the hat of a coach and think beyond managing daily tasks. They need to inspire and motivate the teams to deliver their best. The success of this endeavor largely depends on the style they adopt.

Different Coaching Styles

  • Democratic coaching

As the term implies, democratic coaching is all about giving employees the freedom to chart their learning pathways. They lay down the objectives and the process. They decide the learning process that works best for them. The leaders merely aid the team members in setting up the pathway. 

This could be a slow process compared to others because it involves the employees discovering their learning pathway rather than the coach deciding for them. The outcome could take time. However, it’s more effective because the employees are more invested in the process and become more accountable for their progress. 

Although the coach plays a more passive role in this coaching style, they are equally involved in the employee’s learning journey. They keep the communication ongoing and support the employees to enable them to make the right learning decision. 

  • Authoritarian coaching

In authoritarian coaching, all decisions are taken by the leader. The employees are just expected to follow it. The objectives and the processes are set by the coach and explained to the employees. The employees have no say in the decision-making process. The coach is in complete control of the coaching process. 

Authoritarian coaching is ideal for inexperienced employees who cannot immediately take the onus of their learning pathway. It is also useful when leaders want the team to acquire specific skill sets quickly to get started on a new project or want them to achieve a particular goal. It is helpful in situations where employees cannot afford to experiment or explore their learning path. However, giving employees more say in the process is always ideal from a long-term perspective. 

  • Holistic coaching 

Holistic coaching is based on the principle that employees are a combination of different components that must be balanced to enable them to grow. A holistic coach provides deep insights into the employee’s behaviors that affect their performance and guide them to overcome those challenges. 

This is a long-term initiative that will not show any immediate results. However, it can help employees strike a balance in all aspects of their life, which will eventually help them achieve their goals. 

  • Vision coaching

In vision coaching, the coach gives the employees a clear roadmap of what they need to achieve. However, it is not rigid like authoritarian coaching. It is similar to personal coaching, where the coach constantly monitors the progress and advises the employees on strategies to achieve it. Employees can reflect on their actions and decisions through continuous feedback and support, learn from them, and improve their performance while achieving the next target. 

Vision coaching is ideal in a fast-paced work environment where employees have to work on tight deadlines. It is perfect for achieving short-term project goals. 


There is no right or wrong style of coaching. Everything depends on the coaching objective, the leader’s personality, and the scenario. What matters is a well-structured, contextually relevant coaching program where the training objectives are identified, and the program is tailored to aid the employees in achieving them. 

To help the leaders cultivate a coaching culture and make the team members future-ready, we have created an AI-driven, Employee Coaching Network and Upskilling Platform called NumlyEngage™. NumlyEngage™ helps leaders improve their team’s critical skills required to adapt to a digital-first environment. It also allows employees to mentor each other and enables the teams to progress in their learning journey and improve their skills. 

To build the team’s critical skills and adapt to the future of work, contact us for a 60-day pilot program

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