Are You Creating a Coaching Culture in Your Team or Organization?

pablo (18)“What’s really driving the boom in coaching is this: as we move from 30 miles an hour to 70 to 120 to 180…as we go driving straight down the road to making right turns and left turns to abandoning cars and getting motorcycles… the whole game changes and a lot of people are trying to keep up, learn how not to fail.”—John Kotter, Harvard Business School

A recent study by the Conference Board revealed that top organizations are now exploring how to create coaching cultures. A survey by the International Coach Federation of over 500 of the largest companies in the United States found that companies with strong coaching cultures tended to have higher engagement and greater revenue growth in relation to industry peers. Such a culture does not diminish the need for performance and results but works on creating an environment where there is more dialogue and openness and encourages team members to explore new solutions to achieve greater results.

How would things be different if your team members worked on being open to one another and had strong connecting skills of listening and asking questions and establishing clear agreements? We all live in times of rapid change and uncertainty. We need to be resilient and innovative to stay in the game. Yet, people continue to be drained by the challenges of communicating with and inspiring their colleagues.

As an executive and team coach, I hear about the stress leaders experience when there is miscommunication, misalignment and mistrust. What’s required are open-minded conversations where people assume positive intent, seek understanding and can find common ground and shared purpose. Leaders and other professionals need the mindset and skills of coaches to create positive environments that enhance motivation and productivity.

I have supported cultural change in organizations for several decades. You need to equip team members with the mindset and skills to be effective. In addition, you need to address the systems and organizational norms to create an environment that fosters innovation. We have all experienced the difference in being in an environment that is open versus one that is closed. Working in a coaching, or what I call an open mindset culture, is the difference between feeling excited and supported for realizing results versus feeling constrained and drained.

People are quick to adapt an open mindset and coaching skills because they see their effectiveness and experience developing personally and professionally.

Feel free to contact to discuss further.

Practice Shifting Perspectives

We all have habitual patterns. Some serve us and some don’t anymore. Our patterns are like well-worn pathways in our brains. Someone irritates us and we yell. We get negative feedback and we berate ourselves until we feel we are not worthy and will always fail.  We feel anxious and worry about money or our health or our kids constantly.

Research shows that we can actually recondition our neural pathways and build new patterns that may be more productive.  The first step is to simply notice your current pattern and name it ideally with empathy. “I notice something in me is feeling angry as my teenager yells.”  “I notice I am beating myself up because I heard negative feedback from my boss.” “I notice that I am worrying about having enough money.” “I notice that I eat ice cream when feel alone on weekends.”

Recognize that you are human and experiencing these reactions is a part of our human condition. Your pattern did serve you at some point and now you sense it is less useful.

Practice exploring a different perspective.  You can imagine how a friend, a book or movie character or even your wiser future self may see the current situation.  “Perhaps my teen has not built the skill of managing himself. I will demonstrate that I can.”  “I am sure my boss is incredibly stressed and I recall the others times I received positive praise.  This negative comment does not wipe out my many successes.  What can I learn from this?”  “I’ve always had enough money.”  “Recall the people in your life that care for you.”

Practice noticing your habitual patterns, giving yourself empathy and trying on different perspectives.