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education-img1Executive coaching and coaching culture are a big buzz words in business today. Everyone is looking for ways to give their organization a competitive advantage in an exceeding complicated global business culture. While business leaders have come to understand how powerful the addition of leadership coaching can be within their organizations, without the proper training it can be exceedingly difficult for businesses to adopt an effective coaching culture.

A 2010 survey conducted by the Conference Board found that just over half of organizations that participated in the survey use internal coaching in one form or another. However, 48 percent of respondents spend less than 10% of their time coaching others within the organization and 74 percent spent 20% or less of their time coaching. In recent research ALCN has done in the companies we have been working with, statistics are pretty similar today. Looking at these statistics it is safe to say that there is a problem…and that many organizations do not have an effective coaching culture, despite their attempts to implement coaching within their organization.

So how does a business improve their coaching culture and make it more effective? Here are five skills that should be included within a business to improve their coaching culture.

  • Build positive relationships – building a positive relationship centers around trust. Not only must the person in the coach/manager role develop a level of trust with the leader who is a coachee, but moving forward, the leader must also develop trust among those whom he or she leads. By building a firm foundation at the coach/coachee level, this positive relationship can move to the next level as the coachee “pays forward” what they have learned to the rest of the organization.
  • Provide an assessment of progress. Progress reports are an important part of creating a positive coaching culture. They are excellent tools to track a coaching program’s growth and help to provide markers to identify forward movement within the organization. Additionally progress reports provide input on areas that still require work so that the coaching program can be adapted to meet these needs. Combine this with support and supervision for those in coaching roles and you have a winning combination.
  • Employ critical thinking skills. One of the ways that coaching is effective is that it helps team members to think for themselves. Coaches ask open-ended questions to encourage these thinking skills and push the coachee to consider alternate solutions and embrace new ways of doing things.
  • Create a supportive environment. The ultimate goal of a positive coaching program is to create a culture in which team members feel supported in their efforts. When employees feel confident that they can voice their concerns without judgment, they are more open and candid with their feelings. Additionally, encouraging others to support these concerns helps everyone take ownership of both the problems as well as the solutions.
  • An effective coaching culture should show measurable results. In the end, every organization wants to see that they have received a positive return on their investment. Coaching is no exception. By setting meaningful goals and then having the ability to identify positive outcomes shows that a coaching program is healthy and productive.

Creating the right coaching culture is not something that happens by chance. A positive coaching culture starts with a strategic vision by management to embrace the power of this leadership development tool. Additionally, it takes practice and a sincere concern for the individuals within the organization. Coaching has been shown to support retention at the managerial level and above, creating an environment employees want to stay in and be a part of supporting next level growth. In essence, people want to work in an organization where they are invited to share their ideas and bring forth their best self, where team members are supported in being accountable for their learning and growth and are celebrated for what they contribute. Part of a positive coaching culture means that coaching language is used throughout the work environment from c-level executives to supervisory level. And, it is not uncommon to hear questions being asked like, “Do you have everything you need?” “How can I help you?” “How’s that project going?” “Is there anything you need support with?” “How are you today?”

Finally, an effective coaching culture starts with the right in house training. At the Academy of Leadership Coaching & NLP, our passion is to help leaders and organizations develop a strong and powerful coaching culture. If you would like more information on how your leadership team can utilize coaching to the benefit of the entire organization or having a program custom designed for your company and the specific issues you are facing please contact us.

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