Leadership coaching

Wills Memorial Building, , University building

Leadership coaching is a form of active learning which integrates personal and organisational needs. It supports you in taking up or developing your leadership role in a fast changing environment where you may at times feel isolated.

We coach senior leaders in the University, both professional and academic. If you would like support in your leadership role, please email staff-coaching@bristol.ac.uk explaining who you are, what you do and why you would like coaching. 

Both the internal and external coaches used by the University of Bristol have an understanding of the University context. They will work in depth with you, one to one, with the coach creating a safe reflective, thinking space and fulfilling the role of sounding board, thinking partner or sense maker. The coach will engage with you as a whole person in depth, not just in your work context.

What do people work on?

You will set your own agenda and can choose to work on a range of themes which might include:

  • emergent strategy
  • personal values
  • personal wellbeing and resilience
  • emotional intelligence
  • how to bring one’s authentic self to work
  • influencing
  • workload management
  • confidence and appropriate assertiveness
  • relationship building
  • people and performance management
  • career development and decision making

What outcomes have people reported?

Leaders who have used the service report that coaching helps them to see the range of options available to them rather than merely reacting to events. They also say it helps them adapt to new responsibilities, build on strengths, reduce destructive behaviours, enhance teamwork and support organisational change, often with a new found clarity and confidence. The coach supports this achievement by a process of active listening, skilled questioning and feedback, drawing on a range of tools, techniques and models to allow you to develop accurate self-perception and also to understand how others might see you. Feedback tells us that the impartiality of the coach is particularly highly valued.

Eligibility and booking

If you would like to enquire about booking or eligibility please contact staff-coaching@bristol.ac.uk




  • Academics taking on or holding senior leadership roles e.g. Deans, Heads of Schools and those in senior posts may access coaching. Please contact staff-coaching@bristol.ac.uk.

Professional Services

  • Senior managers within Professional Services 


If you would like to enquire about booking or eligibility please contact staff-coaching@bristol.ac.uk


The content of the individual sessions will always be confidential. The service does feed back to the University key themes that arise from leadership coaching.

Do I need my manager's permission?

Leadership coaching is a direct provision which key leadership posts can apply for. The service is recognised as an effective developmental activity, fully supported by the University. However, you may wish to talk to your line manager about taking up this offer, but this is not required.

Does it cost anything?

There is no charge for the internal service. However, due to a limited resource, applicants may be put on a waiting list. If funding is available from your local budget, we can link to external coaches. There is an established process for accessing external coaching. Please contact staff-coaching@bristol.ac.uk to discuss this further.

"It's been invaluable. It's really helped me gain clarity, and focus on and explore the things that I've needed to at the time. You have gently challenged me and helped me to look at my blind spots or areas I might otherwise have avoided. I'm looking forward to continuing working on the areas that I need to develop now that I'm clearer."

Bristol Senior Leaders client