I am a master’s degree graduate within Strategy, Organization and Leadership from Copenhagen Business School. Jon Ingham was kind enough to invite me to this community due to my interest in social capital, and asked me to share some insights from my master thesis. I’ve recently published a LinkedIn article (my very first one) with some post-thesis reflections about how investing into internal leadership coaching will have an impact on SC development and organizational agility (check link in the bottom). I wrote my master thesis for Maersk Group on the topic of leadership development through internal coaching.

My leadership studies focused a lot on the difference between leader development (human capital) and leadership development (social capital). One of my favorite definitions of social capital is one of an interpersonal lens, that is grounded in a relationship model of leadership, at the heart of which are commitment in the form of mutual obligations supported by reciprocated trust and respect. A takeaway from my thesis is how investing into internal coaching, will lead to a coaching culture that can bring a great contribution to social capital development. Leadership coaching develops both the leader (HC) through leader-role efficacy and the leader’s trust in subordinates, improving his relationships (SC). Having a coaching culture makes an organization more aware of relationship building and taps into the power of SC. Thus, my point is that more HRD efforts should be made towards practices such as internal coaching that target also leaders. I am not saying that executive coaching should be replaced by internal coaching, these two practices have different purposes and should be complementary.

Jon made a very good remark on my article saying that coaching for HC should be different than coaching for SC. I agree with his point. Many other types of coaching can contribute to a coaching culture and impact SC development, such as peer-coaching. The reason for my focus on leadership coaching is because the case for my thesis targeted middle-to senior-management. I think many internal coaching programs don’t target management, because management has different executive needs and there is an extra layer of complexity to internal coaching with aspects as power dynamics, confidentiality, politeness and impression management, which is a pity if you ask me. I strongly believe that by engaging leaders into the practice of internal coaching, there will be more engagement and acceptance across the organization, as well as an increased awareness of relationship building through the internal coach-coachee interaction. The intimacy of coaching will bring better insights, so HRD professionals can design more personalized, agile and holistic development programs that also consider SC development.  What do you think? Could internal leadership coaching contribute to social capital development? 

Link: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/investing-social-capital-internal-leadership-cristina-harangozo/