Recent years have witnessed a veritable explosion in leadership training and management coaching. Despite these two trends, research on leadership coaching methods and their usefulness remains scarce. As a practitioner of leadership communication coaching for the past ten years, the author’s research interest stems from a desire to explore and evaluate the effectiveness of such coaching endeavours. Thus, this thesis represents a formal study that tests and generates hypotheses about a coaching system the author has been using for several years. This coaching activity focuses on teaching leaders to communicate and inspire others.
To achieve this research goal, the thesis begins with a comprehensive review of literature that demonstrates the theoretical basis underlying the chosen coaching methods. In three longitudinal, in-depth case studies, the author served simultaneously as researcher, coach, and change agent for three diverse leaders with unique personalities, from different companies. The primary data source consists of extensive coaching notes and frequent records of the impressions and observations of the three leaders. Data triangulation featured both solicited and unsolicited commentary from employees, clients, board members, and other key observers. The research was aided greatly by the extraordinary access and the frequent contact with many of these informants at each of the companies.
The results of the research are twofold. First, the three cases confirm both the legitimacy and the effectiveness of the system of coaching in question. Second, the comparisons of the three cases reveal conclusions and hypotheses about the factors that contribute to the success of this coaching methodology. All three leaders benefited from the coaching, and the research sheds light onto why the system is more useful and productive in some cases than in others.