Leadership coaching


Leadership coaching is a form of active learning, integrating personal and organisational needs. It can support you in taking up or developing your leadership role to the best of your ability in a fast changing environment where you may feel isolated at times.

We provide leadership coaching for all professional services and academic staff on the Bristol Senior Leaders programme.

Deans, Heads of School, Divisional Heads and Faculty Managers who would like support in their leadership role can access external coaches funded by the Staff Coaching Service. Other Academic staff taking on leadership roles within their Faculties e.g. Faculty Research Director, might be eligible to use internal coaching and are encouraged to contact the service to discuss this.

Both the internal and external coaches used by the University of Bristol have an understanding of the University context. They will work in depth with you, one to one, with the coach creating a safe reflective, thinking space and perhaps fulfilling the role of sounding board, thinking partner or sense maker. The coach will engage with you as a whole person in depth, not just in your work context.

What do people work on?

You will set your own agenda and can choose to work on a range of themes which might include: emergent strategy; personal values; how to bring one’s authentic self to work; influencing; workload management; confidence and appropriate assertiveness; relationship building; people and performance management; career development and decision making.

What outcomes have people reported?

Leaders who have used the service report that coaching helps them to see the range of options available to them rather than merely reacting to events. They also say it helps them adapt to new responsibilities, build on strengths, reduce destructive behaviours, enhance teamwork and support organisational change, often with a new found clarity and confidence. The coach supports this achievement by a process of active listening, skilled questioning and feedback, drawing on a range of tools, techniques and models to allow you to develop accurate self-perception and also to understand how others might see you.  Feedback tells us that the impartiality of the coach is particularly highly valued.

How many sessions will I have?

For leadership coaching, clients will usually have an initial session of around 1.5 hours, then an additional 3 or 4 sessions, each about an hour long. If you have leadership coaching through one of the University's leadership and management development programmes, you will usually have just one session, in the form of a 360 feedback meeting.

Eligibility and booking

Academics

  • - Participants on some of the University's leadership development programmes. Other academics taking on leadership roles e.g. Faculty Research Director might be eligible - please contact staff-coaching@bristol.ac.uk
  • - Deans and Heads of School may access external coaches funded by the Staff Coaching Service.

Professional Services

  • - All staff on the Bristol Senior Leaders Programme.
  • - Divisional Heads and Faculty Managers can access external coaches funded by the Staff Coaching Service.

If you would like to enquire about booking or eligibility please contact staff-coaching@bristol.ac.uk

Confidentiality

On some leadership programmes, all participants are offered coaching, so in these cases their managers will know that they are using the service. However, the content of the individual sessions will always be confidential. The service does feed back to the University key themes that arise from leadership coaching.

Do I need my manager's permission?

Leadership coaching is usually delivered as part of a leadership and management programme. Entry onto these programmes is competitive, and will require the support and permission of your line manager. Therefore your manager will most likely be aware that you are attending leadership coaching in this context. Usually this is not a problem as the service is recognised as an effective developmental activity, fully supported by the University.

Does it cost anything?

There is no charge for the internal service. However some senior staff may prefer to use external coaches. In this case, there may be a charge for use over an extended period of time.

It’s been invaluable. It’s really helped me gain clarity, and focus on and explore the things that I’ve needed to at the time. You have gently challenged me and helped me to look at my blind spots or areas I might otherwise have avoided. I’m looking forward to continuing working on the areas that I need to develop now that I’m clearer.

Bristol Senior Leaders client