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The Power of Observational Coaching

Updated: 4 days ago

Coaching in the UK has transitioned from being a privilege of executive groups, such as managers and board level, to a more widespread practice across various levels of organisations.  The Institute for Employment Studies (IES) has been pivotal in researching and evaluating the introduction of coaching capabilities, noting its significant impact on employee engagement and wellbeing.


Observational coaching is an innovative approach providing an outside perspective that can significantly enhance organisational dynamics and leadership effectiveness. A good leadership coach will engage in this practice not just to offer advice, but to foster an environment of reflective growth and strategic insight.


Role and Impact of Observational Coaching


The core of observational coaching lies in its simplicity and profound impact. The coach's primary responsibilities are to observe, listen, and guide, offering insights that support the organisation's journey towards excellence. By maintaining a stance of humility and openness, a coach can create a supportive atmosphere that encourages both personal and professional development.


Key Benefits of Observational Coaching


Expertise and Experience:

Leadership Coaches bring a wealth of knowledge in leadership and organisational behaviour, providing valuable guidance rooted in years of experience.


Enhanced Performance:

Through careful observation, coaches can pinpoint areas where performance could be improved, suggesting targeted strategies that enhance productivity and effectiveness.


Conflict Resolution:

By understanding team dynamics, coaches can identify sources of conflict and offer effective resolution strategies, helping to maintain a harmonious work environment.


Leadership Development:

Coaches work with individuals to strengthen their leadership skills, providing personalised support tailored to specific challenges and goals.



The presence of an observational coach encourages team members to commit fully to their roles and objectives, fostering a culture of accountability.


Personalised Feedback:

Individual coaching sessions allow team members to receive detailed feedback on their performance, aiding in the identification of strengths and areas for growth.


The Observational Process


In observational coaching, the focus is on creating dialogues that are not prescriptive but reflective, enabling team members to explore their professional journeys in a supportive space. These discussions help uncover the nuances of their roles and challenges, promoting clarity and a shared understanding.


Observing the team in action also allows the coach to detect patterns and dynamics that may not be evident from within the organisation. Whether it’s moments of synergy or tension, these insights are crucial for developing strategies that enhance teamwork and communication.


Indago Development's Coaches

The value of observational coaching extends beyond simple consultation. It is a collaborative process that builds on mutual respect and a shared goal of achieving greater understanding and efficiency within the team. Through this approach, teams can navigate the complexities of their work with greater cohesion and resilience.


As Indago Development continue to support organisations in their developmental paths, the role of the observational coach as a catalyst for change and growth remains indispensable. By offering both a mirror and a map, we help illuminate the way forward, ensuring that the path to excellence is both achievable and sustainable.

Indago Development's leadership coaches bring extensive experience in 1:1 coaching, observational leadership, and group leadership across diverse sectors. For smaller companies that may find coaching daunting due to its limited exposure in certain sectors, our coaches offer a supportive and approachable entry point. This ensures that businesses of all sizes can benefit from enhanced leadership capabilities and improved organisational dynamics.


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