Coaching leaders: the path to improvement

by Jan Robertson


In this paper Professor Jan Robertson discusses the process of coaching with a peer partner as a key professional learning strategy for leaders who are seeking to improve their leadership practice.

This kind of leadership learning, she suggests, is based on real experiences in the leader’s work, reflective observation of those experiences, opportunities to question, problem solve, analyse, and develop new ways of thinking and leading, and then trying out new ideas.

At the end of the paper there are case studies of how leaders who had previously learned and practised the skills of coaching themselves, subsequently worked with others to develop their coaching skills and build communities of learners.

Reflective questions

This reflective question might guide you in your reading of this article:

  • Jan Robertson notes in this paper that, ‘Coaching practices need to be initiated by an institution, by one of the educational leaders, or by an outside leader who has experiences in the processes of coaching.’ What needs to happen in your school in order for coaching practices to be implemented?


Robertson, J. (2004, January). Coaching leaders: The part to improvement. Paper presented to the Biennial conference of the New Zealand Educational Administration and Leadership Society, Dunedin.

Tags: Coaching

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