Culture can be loosely defined as the "connecting rod" that makes things happen. In other words, it's "the way we do things around here." It has a direct impact on a company's ability to deliver on its mission over the longer term. As economic conditions change, many organizations recognize that their legacy style culture may place them at a competitive disadvantage.
What is a coaching culture? A coaching culture allows people to:
· Take responsibility for their own actions
· Take risks and contribute their own creative ideas
· Treat mistakes and set-backs as valuable learning experiences
· Speak up, challenge and express conflicting views
· Offer constructive and motivating feedback
· Feel appreciated and that their contribution matters
· Raise motivation and performance to achieve better results
· Form cohesive and high achieving teams
A coaching culture is the majority of people in the organization using coaching techniques and principles, including strong listening and questioning skills, to bring out the best in individuals and teams. It becomes the common way of engaging in conversations, rather than telling people what to do and how to do it.
If we accept that coaching cultures are desirable, what should we do implement one?
First determine what type of coaching would be beneficial to your organization and who should be trained? It might be coaching for skill development, coaching for performance, coaching to remove drama form the workforce, or coaching to translate strategic intent to the frontline. It often revolves around the art of asking great questions, keeping things safe to remain in dialog and just plain old when to leave people alone to figure it out. At Voltage, we have identified three of the fastest and most impactful ways to install a coaching culture. They are:
1) Leaders as Coaches: Voltage trains leaders to have coaching conversations with direct reports and peers. Coaching leads to greater engagement, personal responsibility and accountability resulting in improved team performance.
2) Train the Trainer: The most efficient way to really learn something is to teach it.
3) Mentoring: Voltage provides on-going mentoring to help leaders address the unique challenges they face in creating a coaching culture. We provide feedback on their coaching, facilitation, and training skills.
For a deeper dive into establishing a Coaching Culture at your organization, listen to this episode (How do we create a coaching culture inside our organization?) of our VoltCast radio show, Illuminating Leadership.