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Coaching for Leadership

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Employee engagement and performance management are essential drivers to organizational effectiveness. By building high-trust relationships and focusing on developing your leadership skills using coaching and communication, you will be in a position to develop a workplace culture where employees and the organization will benefit from increased employee engagement and performance.

About the Certificate in Coaching for Leadership

The Coaching for Leadership certificate program is an innovative online non-degree-credit program that extends the University's knowledge and expertise in leadership development. This unique and innovative program encourages leaders to take on the role of the coach, reflecting a fresh approach to leadership development. Using technology to facilitate face-to-face practice coaching conversations, the Coaching for Leadership certificate program can be customized to meet the learning and development needs of employees within an organization.

The program is delivered entirely online and can be completed within one year.

This program provides value to businesses through an enhanced understanding of the drivers of employee engagement, improved communication, and performance management. Participants in the program include senior leaders, managers, supervisors, human resources professionals, project managers, or anyone who is aspiring to be a leader.

Our program instructors are highly experienced in leadership coaching and development, and provide exceptional guidance through relevant work experience and online facilitation.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successfull completion of this program, you will be able to:

  • Describe the elements of a coaching culture in your department or organization, which is defined as a functional, engaging, high-performance, collaborative environment
  • Fully Engage others through effective communication for increased energy, focus and productivity
  • Apply the right communication approach to the right time for accountability and results
  • Coach using a proven, effective method (COACH© for Engagement)
  • Ensure that you are being respected while respecting others
  • Understand the significance and impact of character (intention, thoughts, feelings and behaviour)
  • Harness conflict for positive outcomes and to build trust

Upon successful program completion, you will achieve:

  • Increased leadership capacity
  • Tools for developing leadership skills in others
  • A University of Guelph Certificate in Coaching for Leadership

Program Requirements

In order to receive your Certificate in Coaching for Leadership, you must complete four online courses; these courses can be completed in any order within one year.


The program consists of four online courses. All courses in the program have been designed as independent courses and do not have to be completed in sequence. Each course is eight weeks in duration resulting in approximately 30 contact hours. Participants can expect to spend 10 to 15 hours per week to complete readings, writings, online interactions, and activities or assignments.

Course 1: Creating a Foundation for Leadership Coaching

Organizational culture is often cited as critical to success and yet rarely defined. Culture is loosely defined as, "the way things work around here." The focus of this course is to create and sustainin a workplace of rich, honest, constructive communication flowing in all directions, which supports organizational success. This is called a coaching culture.

In creating the culture for a leadership coaching program, you will examine a succinct and practical definition of a coaching culture and explore the benefits of adopting such a culture. You will investigate the significance and power of organizational values. You will explore the human resource systems that support a coaching culture and identify the real stakeholders.

Concepts that you will find key to a coaching culture are: accountability, individual character, and results. Ultimately you will gain the tools to assess cultural effectiveness, particularly as it relates to internal communication.

In this course you will learn how to:

  • Define a coaching culture
  • Explain the benefits of a coaching culture 
  • Describe how coaching culture is linked to employee engagement and the significance of employee engagement as it relates to performance, motivation, and organizational excellence
  • Explain the significance of leadership character
  • Define strategies for engagement 
  • Compare and contrast an existing culture with a coaching culture
  • Create an action plan for coaching culture improvement

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Course 2: Performance Management Fundamentals

Leadership is key to a successful coaching culture. This course explores the expectations, accountability process and key skills for leadership success. You will analyze the performance management cycle and apply coaching skills that assist in identifying and achieving performance objectives.

In this course, you will learn how to:

  • Identify key aspects of a Performance Management Cycle
  • Develop an example of behavioural-based performance expectations and their measurement
  • Demonstrate the Observation, Impact© Model of positive and developmental feedback
  • Analyze the value of developmental feedback to improving performance
  • Develop an action plan to bridge specific performance gap(s)

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Course 3: The Coach Approach

All team members require basic communication skills in order to support a coaching culture. In this course, you will learn how to communicate using a coaching framework. You will practice your coaching skills with your peers while receiving feedback to assist you in building your coaching skills.

In this course, you will learn how to:

  • Demonstrate the coaching model and utilize coaching skills to support the coaching conversation
  • Design your own personal boundaries in coaching conversations
  • Critically analyze your own listening skills and learn new methods to improve your skills
  • Explain your emotional reaction(s) in coaching conversations
  • Analyze how you maintain balance in coaching conversations

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Course 4: Harness Conflict and Build Trust

Leaders as well as team members have a responsibility to harness conflict and build trust. Harnessing conflict for the benefit of all requires vision and skill. This course explores how to benefit from diverse perspectives, develop a collaborative approach and manage bullying behaviour in a coaching culture.

In this course, you will learn how to:

  • Identify various forms of workplace conflict
  • Explain the benefits of diverse perspectives
  • Define different types of communication and their impact on collaboration in the workplace
  • Describe bullying behaviour and how different types of bullying behaviour can be managed
  • Develop rules of engagement (team norms) in your workplace
  • Identify team collaboration skills

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Please note that some courses may have some synchronous (specific time scheduled) activities. The online activities will be scheduled at the beginning of each course. Webcam, microphone and speakers are course technical requirements and there are specific system and software requirements.


After completing the Coaching for Leadership Certificate program, you will be able to coach employees in achieving their performance goals and identify areas for further development. If you are a human resources (HR) professional, coaching is a skill set that will make you more marketable for jobs/roles within the HR profession.

Additional Information

If you would like additional information about the Certificate in Coaching for Leadership, please email our main office or phone us at 519-767-5000.