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As Coaching is a development tool that lies at the opposite end of the spectrum to command and control, Coaching culture is an organizational development model that provides the structure that defines how the organization’s members can best interact with their working environment and how the best results are obtained and measured.

Organizational culture provides the stability and protocol for all interaction within the group. It serves as a mechanism that defines the acceptable parameters of behavior (what we do or say) and constraining activities to those that reinforce the espoused values of the organization.

As managers will use a refined approach regarding people and organizational goals, the major noticeable aspects are related with the leadership style used inside organizations.

They will turn into Leaders that believe in human potential, treating subordinates and peers with the respect they deserve as fully functioning human beings capable of many great things. They notice and respect intelligence, creativity and intuition. They expect people to succeed and they believe in subordinates capability. Should someone fail in a task, they will not judge.

By practicing coaching they are more concerned on learning while making steps towards results. Very few people are in positions in which one mistake can cause the demise of the organization, but if the vast majority of the staff stops learning then the organization might collapse.
Leaders who practice coaching, let the clients do the work. Coaches are interested in good ideas, creativity and effective solutions to the problems.

They do not dump their good ideas and solutions on others; rather, their listening and questioning allows clients – subordinates, peers, even vendors- to explore a topic and make their own mind up, and then to progress in a personal way. They leave this responsibility to their “clients”.
Great leaders of coaching cultures listen. They listen because they believe in people’s potential. They know that people are unique and have a unique contribution to make and that, in order to understand what that contribution might be, they need to understand it.

For all this benefits to be visible and real, introducing coaching competencies into organizations requires a very powerful strategy to create an adaptive workplace culture committed to the ongoing process of development and learning. Companies that have developed a coaching culture report significantly reduced staff turnover, increased productivity, greater happiness and satisfaction at work.

For achieving this the first steps, leaders or HR should start with a normal HR recipe:

  • Removing certain behaviors, habits or attitudes that are limiting personal or organizational potential
  • Actively promoting certain existing or non-existent behaviors, habits or attitudes that work to improve success
  • Increasing the chances of successfully implementing ongoing changes to the company, whether in the context of a new business process

A coaching culture is characterized by a strong corporate identity and organizational commitment. All employees understand the goals of the organization, and the personal contributions necessary to achieve them. So, what are the steps to successfully build and maintain a coaching culture?

  1. Choose a coaching method
  2. Train the top and mid-level management population to use the chosen coaching skill
  3. Offer business coaching packages and a business coach for top managers in order to increase coaching effectiveness
  4. Reshape support functions – business partners or internal trainers as – internal coaches
  5. Create internal platforms for best coaching practices
  6. Draw minimum intervention plan and templates for deploying coaching as a skill through 1 to1 sessions
  7. Insert coaching as a needed competence in performance appraisal, measure and award it for managerial populations

Within a coaching culture top management provides the basis of the system, while the line-managers and supervisors drive the system. All members must commit to culture management and organizational learning, using a shared value and understanding of coaching. All members are involved in the continuous process of ongoing generative learning and personal and professional change (coaching), and realize it is not a short-term strategy, but a new managerial style.

by Iulian Ionita

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