Essential Coaching Skills Every Leader Needs

Jul 24 2023 | Approfondimenti

Continuous employee development is vital for better equipping your employees for their roles and upskilling them to enhance growth. Equipping your leaders with coaching skills is a simple way of achieving this. In this article, we’ll dive into what we think are some of the most essential coaching skills your leaders might need.

What are coaching skills?

First things first, let’s understand what are coaching skills? Coaching skills are capabilities held by an individual, whether that be a qualified coach, a manager, or a leader, that are key in developing others. Having coaching skills internally, held by your leaders, can be vital for continuous development within the workforce, unlocking the best you can from your employees.

What does coaching as a leader mean?

Coaching as a leader is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s the concept of leaders investing time into developing their employees and taking on the role of a coach, focusing heavily on the needs of their team.

Why is this important? Not only does having coaching internally mean that continuous development is at your fingertips. But at EZRA, we’ve seen that our accredited coaching has many benefits for a company: 95% of people participating in coaching see an improvement in their own performance, managers observed a 20% performance improvement, retention rates are 14% higher, and 77% of people with coaching feel more loyal to their company. So why not try to continue these benefits by creating a coaching culture internally?

Let’s take a look at some of the coaching skills that every leader needs.

Essential leadership coaching skills

  1. Being inclusive

  2. Being supportive

  3. Communicating effectively

  4. Ability to gain trust

  5. Having emotional intelligence

  6. Actively listening

  7. Giving effective feedback

  8. Showing empathy

  9. Being goal-oriented

  10. Having a growth mindset

  11. Innovation

  12. Positivity

Being inclusive

By being inclusive, you start to build a sense of self-awareness, which in turn helps to reduce biases you have that might affect your coaching ability. An effective coach is always unbiased in order to take each individual coachee and help them grasp their strengths to perform to the best of their ability.

Being supportive

It’s a no-brainer: a coach that is unsupportive isn’t going to help individuals drive their growth and development. Your coachees will likely feel distant, disengaged, and un-motivated. By being supportive, you’re automatically there to help individuals achieve their goals, sticking by them to keep them determined throughout the process.

Communicating effectively

Communication is key within coaching; in fact, it’s the very basis of it. So, as a leader developing your coaching skills, communication is one of the first to nail down. Your ability to speak to others, listen, and give feedback is vital to how successful your coaching will be.

Ability to gain trust

A coach and coachee relationship should be underpinned by trust. Your coachee should be able to disclose information about their goals, their career development plans, and more without the worry that it will go further than you. By having this trust, deeper discussions can take place, you can get a far greater understanding of your coachee, and, as a result, help them more effectively within their coaching journey.

Having emotional intelligence

Having these emotional intelligence skills, where you’re able to understand others, is key to understanding how each of your team members work, how they’ll react to changes or decisions, and how you can navigate these to keep teams productive and performing well.

Actively listening

Active listening is a difficult skill to master, but it’s something a good coach should rely on to address any challenges or problems. By learning to actively listen, you can evaluate and understand a problem or a piece of feedback with far better success, as well as begin to understand what the right questions are to achieve a solution.

Giving effective feedback

A coachee won’t develop without feedback. So, providing effective feedback is key to become an effective coach as a leader.

Showing empathy

Having the skill of showing empathy is key to connecting with others, something every coach must be able to do; empathy provides you with the ability to understand and empathize with others, which helps build your reputation as a trustworthy individual, allowing for better connections to be made.

Being goal-oriented

Goals are key to development – without a goal, we risk remaining stagnant.

Having a growth mindset

Coaching is founded on the idea that humans can grow and develop. So, adopting a growth mindset as a leader is a must-have coaching skill. After all, we all have room to better ourselves, upskill, and develop.


One essential coaching skill every leader should try to develop is innovation. This is essential for developing ideas and solving problems, or helping those around you solve problems. You may initiate the development of ideas with your team, so knowing how to creatively ask questions to help this is key.


As both a leader and a coach, staying positive is vital to success. Firstly, it sets a good example for others to do the same, creating a healthy and happy workplace environment. Secondly, it acts as a motivator for your teams, aiding in their engagement rate – after all, no one likes to work in a negative environment; it can develop far more stress in employees and therefore increase staff turnover rate dramatically.

Need help upskilling your leaders in coaching? Or fancy becoming a coach yourself? EZRA digital coaching can help your leaders develop these skills.

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