Top tips for nurturing a coaching culture.


More and more organisations are investing time, money and effort in introducing a coaching culture within their businesses. They recognise that the 'telling' management style of the past is not sustainable in a future where more demands are being made on staff, and where uncertainty and ambiguity are the norm.

So once you've done some in-house coaching training how do you as a leader, continue to nurture and encourage a coaching culture?

1. Keep selling the benefits of coaching.

Coaching is linked to higher well-being and higher levels of goal attainment BUT most importantly it encourages self-motivation. Ryan and Deci's theory of Self-Determination is complex but in essence they propose you can create conditions that nurture self-motivation, including encouraging self-efficacy, relatedness and choice. In other words if you encourage confidence in staff, make them feel ‘loved’/supported, and give them choices, you are creating conditions for self-motivation vs. dependency. The great news is a coaching conversation creates those very conditions.

2. Lead by example and take the opportunity yourself to coach people.

If your team see you playing with coaching principles in team meetings or in various conversations, they will be more likely to model your behavior.

3. If it looks like a chicken and it smells like a chicken..guess what?

If you can see staff doing long hours, stressed out and taking everything on themselves, it's likely they are stressed out and haven't managed to learn how to coach, delegate and develop their people effectively. Help these people. They are the ones who will truly benefit from a move to coaching. Maybe consider getting them a coach so they experience the value directly.

What about staff that have learnt about coaching...what are small steps you can encourage staff to take to begin to practice what they have learnt?

1. Encourage staff to embrace a coaching approach even on a 'small' scale.

I know there is a place for a full coaching session BUT brief 'coaching conversations' can make a big difference. Simply asking rather than immediately telling in a 5-minute conversation can begin to shift how staff manage their teams.

2. Invite staff to practice coaching once this week.

Maybe they could create the intention of having at least ONE coaching conversation this week.

3. Encourage listening.

Maybe they could play with really listening to the person they are coaching. Turn your body, step away from distractions and fully attend to them.

4. Encourage curiosity.

Invite staff to play with questions like... what do you think are our options? What else can we do? What else could be done here? Anything else?

Shifting cultures takes time, but if you're committed to this path remember to keep checking in on what is working, what is not working and tweak along the way.

I hope this helps and if I can help you or your organisation inspire positive performance at work please contact me at laura@yellowowl.co.uk or on 07443118322.

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