Many leaders and professionals tend to assume that coaching is a formal discussion you have when someone is struggling. In fact, it’s actually an agile practice that can be weaved into virtually any type of interaction. It could be a conversation between a leader and team member or between 2 colleagues.
Organizational leaders must understand the importance of creating a positive coaching culture—a workplace environment where development, feedback, mentoring, and growth opportunities are front and center. By creating this culture, leaders prioritize the development of team members for the improvement of the organization. The CMOE team is here to guide you on creating a coaching culture with important insights and key dos and don’ts.
What Are the Benefits of Creating a Coaching Culture?
According to the Association for Talent Development (ATD), over 50 percent of professionals and managers believe a coaching culture offers benefits such as:
Greater employee engagement: 65% of team members in a robust coaching culture are highly engaged.
Improved communication and performance: 80% of professionals who have received coaching experienced improvement in performance, productivity, communication skills, and overall well-being and job satisfaction.
Better outcomes: When team members are engaged and performing well, this positively impacts the achievement of goals, key performance indicators, and OKRs. Businesses with strong coaching cultures outperform their industry counterparts.
Common Barriers to Coaching Culture
Given the advantages that come with a coaching culture, why do organizations struggle or fail to build one?
There are three common barriers that get in the way of creating a coaching culture:
1. Lack of coaching training for leadership teams: Fostering a coaching culture begins with leaders, yet only 36% of organizations offer effective coaching-specific training to them. Therefore, organizations should prioritize coaching skills training for leaders at all levels of the organization. The knowledge and skills can cascade down to individual contributors.
2. Lack of Express Coaching™: Coaching doesn’t only involve long formal conversations. Time limitations and budget constraints may make in-depth coaching challenging and may not garner benefits in the long run. Quality coaching also weaves in Express Coaching™—short, everyday coaching conversations that are “check-ins” with coachees.
3. Lack of coaching framework: Some organizations attempt to practice coaching but do not have a proven coaching framework. Coaching frameworks are designed to help coaches adequately prepare and stay focused on the desired outcomes. Without a framework, the purpose and structure of the coaching session can become unfocused and unclear.
How Do You Cultivate a Coaching Culture?
To keep yourself and your team on track through coaching, here are helpful tips on the dos and don’ts of creating a coaching culture. These tips will help you avoid the barriers outlined above and create a fulfilling coaching experience for your team members.
1. Stay in touch with your team members: As noted earlier, 75 to 80% of coaching opportunities come in casual, unplanned interactions. This might look like casually walking around the office (or messaging them if your team is remote) each day to connect with people, reinforce progress, and help with their needs or obstacles. In addition to more formal coaching sessions, weave in informal ones to keep the coaching spirit consistent and ongoing.
2. Prioritize developing leaders’ coaching skills: Leaders set the example, maintain accountability, and provide development for individual contributors. So, quality coaching should begin with them. Be sure your coaching skills training taps into emotional intelligence, Express Coaching™, and utilize CMOE’s Coaching TIPS²™ Model to ensure a positive development experience.
3. Frequently assess the health of your coaching culture: Use these nine questions to assess the health of your coaching culture and identify opportunities for improvement. It’s important to regularly pause and assess progress along the way to assess progress and strengthen the quality of your coaching process and practices for sustained success.
1. Don’t micromanage team members: There’s a difference between managing and coaching. Coaching guides people to solve problems and make decisions. Listen with empathy to your team member or coachee and provide them with the direction and support to help them make smart decisions and exceed expectations.
2. Don’t rush the coaching process: Good coaches understand changes do not occur overnight. It takes people time to learn and master these skills and to reach new heights. Therefore, coaches need to practice patience and offer support along the way to help people perform their best work. Rather than solely focusing on results, coaches should look at the big picture and evaluate their coachee’s progression over time.
3. Don’t shy away from tough conversations: Though distributing a step-by-step coaching guide can be a quick way to encourage a coaching culture, it requires a lot more thought and effort than that. Every coachee or team member is unique, and a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work. Coaches must take time to understand each person’s strengths and development needs in order to craft a customized and effective coaching roadmap. Facilitating the coaching journey on a personal level can encourage better outcomes and increase motivation across the enterprise.
Create a Coaching Culture with CMOE
Help your organization nurture an engaging workforce and evolve for the future by diving into CMOE’s Coaching workshops. With our programs and workshops, you can become a proficient coach who drives team members forward and builds valuable connections within your organization.
About the Author
CMOE’s Design Team is comprised of individuals with diverse and complementary strengths, talents, education, and experience who have come together to bring a unique service to CMOE’s clients. Our team has a rich depth of knowledge, holding advanced degrees in areas such as business management, psychology, communication, human resource management, organizational development, and sociology.
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