How can applying a systemic lens to coaching work-01

How can applying a systemic lens to coaching work?

In recent years, the idea of one-on-one support and guidance through leadership and executive coaching has helped many individuals achieve their goals and overcome challenges. These forms of coaching have become increasingly essential for leaders as businesses and organizations face mounting challenges and complexities.

With rapid technological advancements, globalization, and shifting demographics, leaders must adapt to change quickly and develop the skills to effectively manage diverse teams.

Executive coaching offers personalized guidance and support to enhance leadership capabilities, build emotional intelligence, and strengthen communication skills. As a result, many companies are investing in leadership coaching programs to cultivate strong leaders and foster a culture of growth and development.

The benefits of coaching extend beyond individual leaders to impact team performance, employee engagement, and organizational success. Change is the only constant, and one must recognize that organizations or communities require evolution to achieve growth and success. A leader must make systemic changes to ensure their system is moving forward and adapting to new challenges.

“Unlike mentors, coaches help people arrive at solutions themselves. An answer or one-size-fits-all solution is not presented to everyone. I like how you need to reflect on your own and find solutions yourself. That way, coaching is almost like therapy, and the other person simply listens and asks the right questions,” said a data analyst from India.

However, the benefits of coaching extend far beyond just personal success. We have come to believe that coaching can change the world, but it requires a systemic lens to make a real impact. Not following us? Keep reading to find out what we mean!

What is leadership coaching and how can it create a systemic change?

Leadership coaching is a personalized development process that helps individuals enhance their leadership skills, build emotional intelligence, and strengthen their communication skills. It is a one-on-one relationship between a coach and a leader, where the coach provides guidance and support to the leader to achieve their professional goals and overcome challenges.

Leadership coaching sessions typically involve regular meetings between the coach and the leader. During these meetings, the coach asks powerful questions that help the leader reflect on their current approach to leadership and identify areas for improvement. Together, the coach and leader work on developing strategies and techniques that the leader can apply to their work.

Enrolling in leadership coaching sessions can make a significant difference in an individual’s career trajectory. Leadership coaching provides personalized guidance and support that is tailored to the leader’s unique needs and goals. Through coaching, leaders can develop the skills they need to excel in their roles, build better relationships with their teams, and drive organizational success.

Moreover, leadership coaching can help leaders identify and address any blind spots that may be hindering their growth. By working with a coach, leaders can receive honest feedback and constructive criticism, which can help them improve their performance and become more effective leaders.

The Impact of quality leadership coaching

Leadership coaching has proven to be effective in helping individuals achieve their goals. To make systemic change, the leader must identify areas that require immediate improvement and assess how the system operates.

Leaders must also recognize that a system is made up of individuals, and they must consider how their proposed changes will impact people. This is particularly important because an individual cannot be separated from the system they belong to. To identify these areas and work to improve them, leaders need the eagle eye of a coach.

In a study conducted by the International Coach Federation, 99% of clients reported that they faced shifts in mindset after their coaching experience. Furthermore, 96% said that they would repeat the coaching process. It helped them notice where they were going wrong during their everyday corporate routines. It also helped them find places where they were going right and consistently continue to do those things.

“Coaching made ‘WHY’ my favorite word in the English language. I no longer feel happy or sad when I become successful or if I fail. I always ask why. Why did I succeed? What did I do differently? If I want to succeed again tomorrow, what do I need to do again? And so on,” said a software developer from a reputed agency in India.

There are several reasons why some leaders succeed while others fail in bringing about systemic change. One key factor is the ability to inspire and motivate others to support their vision. Leaders who can articulate a clear vision and build consensus around it are more likely to succeed.

Another factor is the ability to navigate the complexities of a system and overcome resistance to change. Leaders who can anticipate potential roadblocks and develop strategies to overcome them are more likely to succeed. The difference between a qualified leader who can drive change and one who remains stuck is often the guidance they receive from their coach.

A systemic lens to Coaching

Just like how leaders need to apply a systemic lens to their business, coaches also need to have a systemic approach. To truly harness the power of coaching to change the world, coaches need to look beyond just the individual and consider the broader systems and structures that impact their lives.

A systemic approach to coaching recognizes that individuals are part of larger social, economic, and political systems. It extends to noting that these systems influence their opportunities and outcomes.

For example, a coach working with a young person from a low-income background may need to consider the systemic barriers to success that the client may face. They may need to address issues such as access to education, healthcare, and other resources that can impact the client’s ability to achieve their goals.

Using a systemic lens for coaching can also involve working with individuals in a collective context. This can include coaching groups or teams, as well as working with organizations or communities.

What would happen if we ignored this approach?

If we don’t follow a systemic approach to coaching, we may miss the underlying barriers that prevent individuals from achieving their goals. We may also overlook the impact that individuals can have on the broader systems and structures around them.

For example, if we don’t consider the systemic barriers to success that low-income individuals face, we may fail to address the root causes of their challenges. This may result in individuals not achieving their full potential and continuing to face systemic inequalities.

Likewise, if we don’t work with organizations and communities to create systemic change, we may miss opportunities to create lasting impact. Some leaders fail to bring about systemic change due to a lack of support from key stakeholders. Leaders who fail to build coalitions or gain support from critical stakeholders may struggle to implement change.

Additionally, leaders who lack a deep understanding of the system they seek to change may underestimate the challenges and complexities of the system. In such cases, leaders may struggle to implement change or may implement changes that do not address the root causes of the problem.

Motivators for Systemic Change

Various motivators drive leaders to make systemic change. One common motivator is a desire to improve the system or community they serve. Leaders who are passionate about making a positive impact and improving people’s lives are more likely to initiate systemic change.

Another motivator is a sense of responsibility for the greater good. Leaders who feel responsible for the success of their organization or community are more likely to take action to improve it. It lies in the skill of the coach to evoke this sense of responsibility and guide leaders to channel it in the right direction.

Another motivator for systemic change is a need for growth or advancement. Leaders who recognize that the current system is not sustainable or is hindering growth are more likely to initiate change. Additionally, leaders who are driven by a desire to leave a legacy or make a lasting impact may be motivated to make systemic change.


The potential impact of coaching with a systemic lens is significant. By addressing the broader social, economic, and political systems that impact individuals and communities, coaches can help create lasting change and positive outcomes.

In fact, research shows that coaching with a systemic approach can lead to significant improvements in areas such as leadership development, team performance, organizational culture, and personal well-being. For example, a study by the Institute of Coaching found that coaching can lead to a 70% improvement in work performance, an 80% improvement in self-confidence, and a 50% improvement in relationships.

Additionally, a report by the International Coach Federation found that organizations that invest in coaching for their employees see an average return on investment of 7 times their initial investment. This demonstrates that coaching can not only have a positive impact on individuals and communities, but also on organizations and the broader economy.

In conclusion, coaching with a systemic lens has the potential to change the world by creating positive change at the individual, organizational, and community level. By recognizing and addressing the broader systemic issues that impact individuals and communities, coaches can help create a better world for everyone.

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