Command-and-control is increasingly considered an old-school style of leadership. Today’s employees crave collaboration, empowerment and having their opinions valued. They expect to be asked and engaged in decision-making. They want their leaders and managers to adopt a coaching style more often. This has all contributed to a significant shift in the way organisations develop their people.
Gone are the days when attending a training course was considered the best way to develop. With so much knowledge at our fingertips, and self-directed learning on the rise, coaching and mentoring programmes are seen as the most effective way to change mindsets and behaviours long term.
The need, and desire, for ongoing and in-the-moment feedback has also led to the demise of the annual appraisal. Regular feedback is now seen as a far more effective way to develop people.
Having an effective coaching conversation unlocks employee potential, allows managers to focus on wellbeing, shows empathy, builds resilience and ultimately increases employee engagement and performance.
Developing a culture where coaching conversations happen day in and day out takes time and patience, but the benefits – to organisations, teams and individuals – outweigh the costs. It’s a virtuous cycle.
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To do this, organisations need to understand what a coaching culture is and how to build one. We’ve boiled this down into a five step framework:
- Organisational growth mindset: Organisations need to be able to develop a growth mindset. One where learning and growing are encouraged and failure isn’t punished – in fact it’s embraced as part of learning.
- The Board buys into coaching: The Board provides the time, space and resources to make coaching conversations happen. A champion on the Board, who drives and communicates the vision for coaching, helps to build engagement and commitment.
- Coaching is available to all: Coaching happens throughout the entire organisation and isn’t reserved for either a privileged few or under-performers. A blend of solutions, from human conversations to digital self-coaching, can enable this to happen. Diabetes UK is a great example of this, running coaching programmes at all levels of the organisation. LINK to add.
- Everybody has the capability to coach: In order to ensure coaching conversations are happening throughout the organisation, everybody needs the capability to coach. This isn’t about everyone being an accredited ‘coach’, it’s about having an essential level of skill to be able to adopt a coaching style.
- Coaching and feedback are part of everyday life: When coaching conversations are expected and respected, and feedback is both given and received as a positive cultural norm.
To enable such large-scale cultural change, charities need to be able to connect the dots between people and technology, and offer a blend of solutions to meet all employee needs.
The future is blended
Technology is not there to replace a coach or a human conversation, it’s there to enhance the human experience. Effective use of technology can raise awareness of coaching, enabling a greater understanding of what it is and what it isn’t. It can enhance coaching conversations and facilitate self-coaching. It can speed up a coachee’s development and elevate personal performance.
Imagine a world where coachees are more self-aware, learning and growing is accelerated, feedback is ongoing and coaching investment can be strategically targeted at the right people at the right time. Imagine that and you’ll begin to understand why the future is all about creating blended programmes where humans and technology work together.
Organisations are at last waking up to the fact that a coaching culture is the way to drive sustainable change, whether that’s by creating a culture of innovation, a culture of creativity or a culture of wellbeing. The way to develop this is via the organisation’s ability to communicate through a blended programme that enables effective coaching conversations and reflective self-coaching practice. While technology is not designed to replace human coaching conversations, it can certainly enhance them, while also facilitating organisational change on a wide scale. Democratising coaching by blending humans and technology is a win-win all round!
About Jo Wright
Jo Wright is the author of The little book of In-House Coaching published by the Charity Learning Consortium. She’s a professional business coach, accredited with the ICF, the Editor of Coaching Culture Magazine and the co-founder of Coaching Culture – 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
Read Jo’s previous blog here: How to drive a coaching culture