Creating and driving a Coaching Culture

It’ll probably come as no surprise to many of us who’ve been harping on about this for years, but growing numbers of organisations are finally putting people at the centre of their plans for success – and more and more it’s going hand in hand with a coaching culture.

But for any business to truly capture the benefits of coaching that also requires something else that isn’t so easily achieved. A shift in perspective.

For too long coaches are deployed as a last resort, when all else fails and when no-one else really knows what to do. Too often its only for the elite, or those struggling. This is not the change we are looking for.

To create a true coaching culture, coaching has to become a genuine part of the DNA of the whole company. Now that, as they say, is easier said than done. Using our wealth of experience at Well Prepared Training (way too many years to mention) we’ve come up with 5 things that you need to get onto in order to create a coaching culture that works.

Empower those that can.

One of the first things we do with our clients wanting help with creating a coaching culture is to empower their managers to coach themselves. It’s too easy to assume that everyone knows how to coach or has even been coached in the past. We develop managers with the basics of coaching and help them to understand what coaching is immediately helping them to start role-modelling coaching behaviours. We don’t stop with just one 2 one sessions; we encourage group coaching at different levels and Coaching doesn’t just have to happen at the individual level either. Give teams the skills and tools to run group coaching sessions and help them see the benefits of peer to peer sessions too.

Get the board on board.

We all know this. It varies from business to business but more often than not change is led from the top and if they’re not buying into it – it’s most likely going nowhere. We engage the boards of the clients we work with by encouraging them to experience the benefits themselves so they can become a future role model in their worlds and give that all important stamp of approval. When a new manager gets coaching and sees it as development because he knows the board get coaching too, then you’re onto a winner.

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The list of benefits to having a coaching culture are long and respected. It can increase self-confidence in individuals and teams, it can help people get a true perspective about work, and home life. For many it boosts their wellbeing too. Most engagement surveys that score highly often relate back to the benefits of coaching within a business. People respond well when you can show them as a business you want them to do well, and you want to help them do it on their own. This will only work if it is defined and woven into the very culture of your organisation. It must be talked about from day 1, with clear principles and access for all. An embedded culture is a successful one.

Spread the coaching love.

For teams to genuinely believe that coaching is for everyone, it has to be available, for everyone. You need to be talking about the benefits and possibilities that coaching can bring right from the first interview, onboarding process, induction planners, one 2 ones and appraisals. Try not to limit yourself and think that coaching can only be done one way. Yes, there are more ‘traditional’ options like external, professionally accredited coaches. But also think about internal coaches and self-coaching to make it more widely accessible to the masses.

Make it part of daily life.

One of the best ways we have found of developing an active, truly worthwhile coaching culture is by making coaching (and the important part of giving and receiving feedback) part of everyday life. Your people need to know that it’s okay to try, okay to fail and finally it’s okay to learn and improve. We absolutely encourage the opportunities to get and give feedback at any time. We always use the respective companies feedback model, or we can supply one that fits. We recommend allowing time in diaries and planners for self-reflection, group coaching and recognise those who are coaching their peers.

For a culture like this to survive in any business is needs to be sustainable. It can’t be the ‘word of the moment and then die a death. Everyone needs to keep it alive by talking about it, doing it, calling it out when it’s not happening and celebrating the successes it brings. Have a think about how you can make those things come to life. Remember, what gets focused on gets done!

If you’re interested in starting, building or enhancing your coaching culture, from start-up businesses, right through to FTSE’s and C-Suite Coaching, then reach out and start the conversation today. We’re here to help you and your teams grow.

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