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The world of employee development is going through a transformation. Growing numbers of organisations are putting people right at the centre of their strategy for success – and there’s increasing awareness that coaching has a fundamental role to play.
There are many benefits to developing a coaching culture*. It increases self-confidence and enhances a sense of well-being, supported by a clearer perspective about work/life balance. It increases employee engagement and helps achieve employees’ potential and improve their communication skills. Ultimately it drives success. In short, it’s worth the effort.
Harnessing the benefits of coaching requires a shift in perspective though. It’s about way more than the occasional engagement of a coach or focusing efforts onto a single group of people in an organisation. To create a genuine coaching culture, it must become part of the fabric of the whole company. So how do you achieve that?
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1. Create a growth mindset
You need to create a growth mindset across the whole organisation. That might sound easier said than done, but it is achievable. Turn failure on its head. Let it be seen as an opportunity to learn and grow instead. Encourage people to try, and let them know it’s ok if things don’t always work out.
2. Get buy-in from the top
Board level buy in helps. A lot. I know getting board level support can be a challenge, but it is possible. How? Encourage your senior team to experience the benefits of coaching for themselves. They can then use their experience to role model and endorse coaching throughout the organisation, becoming coaching champions. Ideally the board should provide the environment, systems and resources to enable coaching to take place.
A word of advice if you’re struggling with this: It’s not just about the board. Top level support may make achieving a coaching culture far easier, but you don’t need their permission to have a coaching conversation. It’s also important to focus efforts onto other individuals and groups to begin building a coaching ethos.
3. Make coaching available to all
What can you do to make coaching available to everyone? Think broadly and remember you aren’t limited to providing coaching in just one way. Although there are more traditional options like external, professionally accredited coaches, also think about internal coaches and digital self-coaching to make it more widely accessible.
4. Support in-house coaching
Can you give employees the skills to coach others? Start off with line managers. Help them understand what coaching is (and isn’t). Demonstrating and role-modelling coaching behaviour is a powerful way for line managers to embed it into a culture. Coaching doesn’t just have to happen at the individual level either. Give teams the skills and tools to run group coaching sessions. And it doesn’t have to stop there. How about introducing peer-to-peer coaching as well, to facilitate working on creative solutions together?
5. Encourage reflection and feedback
One of the best ways of developing a living, breathing coaching culture is by making coaching and feedback part of everyday life. So foster in-the-moment feedback. Encourage people to be receptive to any feedback they’re given, rather than fearing it. Actively promote and provide time for self-reflection by encouraging activities like journalling, where people can take time to think through what they’ve done and learn from every experience.
Coaching should be part of the fabric of any organisation, made up of employees who appreciate and value their own capabilities. A coaching culture is within your reach. Go grab it!
* Taken from How To Create A Coaching Culture: Framework For Success, Coaching Culture Ltd, 2018
About Jo Wright
Jo Wright is a professional Business Coach, accredited with the ICF. She’s the Editor of Coaching Culture Magazine and Co-Founder of Coaching Culture Ltd – a Community where like-minded professionals come together to share best practice and learn how to drive a coaching culture. If you’d like to join this growing community for free and receive more content like this, please subscribe at www.coachingculture.com