coaching culture is not created by scheduling one-on-one meetings to discuss performance. A coaching culture is not created every Wednesday from 10:00 am to 10:45 am in the conference room. A culture of coaching is pervasive and ongoing; it is a constant in every interaction, because it’s not about the topic being discussed butit’s being discussed. A culture is defined and reinforced by the relationship between the conversation’s participants, and once that relationship is established the coaching becomes continual. While some organizations hire external coaches, and some count on HR professionals, we believe that a coaching culture relies on the manager/employee relationship. It is imperative that managers learn the skills and develop the abilities to be effective coaches, but once they do, coaching can be done in ten minutes or less.
Helping others succeed
Coaching happens at the water cooler, in the hallway, and on the way back from lunch. Coaching occurs in casual conversations, through status updates, and even in team meetings. By asking questions instead of giving specific instructions, a manager is creating the coaching culture. When a manager asks for input to explore his/her employees’ approach to a project, the manager is creating the coaching culture. When a manager walks with an employee down the hall and listens to his/her hopes for his/her career, they are creating the coaching culture. Successful managers devote energy, and sometimes extra time, to developing relationships with their employees. They seek to understand each employee’s unique needs and have regular, honest conversations with them more frequently. Trust is at the core of the coaching relationship, but it doesn’t have to happen in formal meetings only. With every interaction comes an opportunity for coaching.
Equipping managers with the know-how to have these conversations will result in the creation of the coaching relationship, which is the basis of a coaching culture.