Coaching is an integral component of the Higher Education Leadership and Management (HELM) leadership development approach.

The final ENGAGE session for the year – facilitated by HELM senior associate Professor Birgit Schreiber – examined the role of coaching, its impact and relevance, the difference between mentoring and advising and how it has helped accelerate change in higher education.

Professor Denise Zinn (above), Programme Leader for HELM’s Women in Leadership Programme and previously the Deputy Vice Chancellor: Learning & Teaching at Nelson Mandela University, said she believed that coaching is particularly pertinent and necessary when it comes to higher education leadership. It is the kind of support that those moving up in the system need. However, she admitted that coaching had a bad rap in the past, often with a good reason.

She began by explaining that promotions come with their own set of problems – the higher you go on the leadership ladder, the fewer people you have to talk to.