International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring (Feb 2024)

How Coaching Interactions Transform Leader Identity of Young Professionals Over Time

  • Andrew Hughes,
  • Christian Vaccaro

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 22, no. 1
pp. 130 – 148


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This longitudinal qualitative study explores how social interactions between young professionals and their leadership coach develop leader identity. Examining eleven pairs of coaches and clients participating in a three-to-six-month leadership development programme, this exploratory research found five general interaction types that form the basis of leader identity development. We explain how coaching interaction types are combined to create a powerful adult learning process for navigating leadership transitions in an original leader identity transformation framework. The findings expand the understanding of coaching processes and leader identity transformation, providing insights for researchers and practitioners to help young professionals navigate leadership.