12 Ways To Facilitate A Culture Of Coaching

Originally published by Forbes.com

Loren Margolis, Founder &; Managing Director, Training & Leadership Success

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Is your culture one that “commands” or coaches? If it’s the former, it’s likely that your organization asserts that there’s only one way to achieve a goal, and your employees don’t have much room to innovate. But if it’s the latter, those mandates turn into guidance, and the team is able to see that there is actually more than one way to solve a problem. More importantly, they know that it’s OK to fail fast and forward.

Members of Forbes Coaches Council share their insight.

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1. Practice Level III Listening
A commanding culture shouts from the bully pulpit and dictates action. A coaching culture learns to ask the right questions and practice advanced listening skills to motivate employees. In practice, this goes beyond the annual employee survey. Augment this with opportunities for individual employee feedback and really listen to what’s impacting performance and views from a 360-degree perspective. – Barbara OMalley, Exec Advance LLC

2. Turn ‘Me’ Into ‘We’
A commanding culture is a culture of “me,” my way or the highway. A coaching culture is a culture of “we,” together we accomplish great things. A single voice is “me,” while all voices build “we.” From the top down, solicit feedback, listen, and integrate using formal employee feedback and informal conversations. Tie messages to actions and link actions to the mission with clear, consistent communication. – Lisa Kaye McDonald, Career Polish, Inc.

3. Lean Into Your Team’s Talent
A culture of commanding provides team members with tasks to be completed and instructions to complete them. A culture of coaching keeps the mission up front and engages teams to creatively tackle the mission using their unique talents. Ask questions of your team to develop creative solutions to address the challenges your organization is facing. – Billy Williams, Archegos

4. Learn How To Pull Rather Than Push
A command-and-control culture believes the leader is the source of expertise. The leader “pushes” directives down the chain of command. A coaching culture believes that many of the answers lie in its people and it’s the leader’s role to empower by “pulling” out ideas through listening and questions. – Loren Margolis, Training & Leadership Success LLC

5. Unlock Potential
A culture of coaching unlocks a person’s potential. It is a partnership and requires the participation of both parties. The coach is the conduit to helping someone realize the 2.0 version of themselves. – Terry Powell, The Entrepreneur’s Source

6. Focus On The Collective
A culture of commanding focuses mostly on the leader forcing situations and/or answers. Coaching is a way to bring out the best in the collective. By asking powerful questions, creating awareness in employees about their own critical and strategic thinking skills, and active listening, a culture can be created that focuses on the learning and development of all of its employees and therefore the collective. – Monica Thakrar, MTI

7. Allow For Critical Thought
Children who are allowed to play creatively with little structure develop more creative problem-solving skills in comparison to those with rigid schedules. Coaching is designed to draw out excellence in individuals, allowing them to come up with diverse solutions and build confidence. In contrast, commanding employees will produce anxiety and the expectation of regurgitating “canned” answers. – Heather Murphy, Authentically: Business & Life Solutions

8. Lead Through Personal Empowerment
The difference between coaching and commanding an employee to complete a task is that when you command, you are implying that he or she has to do something. On the other hand, a coaching approach motivates, inspires, and makes an employee feel that he or she wants to complete that task. Commanding is leading through fear. Coaching is leading through personal empowerment. – Masha Malka, The One Minute Coach

9. Create Belonging
With a culture of coaching, there is inclusivity and a feeling of belonging and empowerment. With a culture of commanding it’s a top-down, “do as I say” mentality. Embracing coaching means having conversations, teams, feedback and opportunity. It should be participative versus directive to allow people to get hands-on experience and feel like they play a vital role. – Laura DeCarlo, Career Directors International

10. Listen Carefully
In a culture of commanding, the leader typically goes into the situation to convey their desires and expected outcome. In a culture of coaching, the leader listens to the other person to gain an understanding of the best way to approach a situation while taking the person’s skills, abilities and resources into consideration. Coaching a person to success also helps with their professional growth. – LaKesha Womack, Womack Consulting Group

11. Foster Mutual Respect
In a culture of coaching, there is mutual respect between the individuals. There is a belief that if everyone becomes stronger, the organization is stronger, which benefits everyone. Conversations are two-way and supportive, not just providing feedback or criticism. Constructive dialogue is very beneficial; often both parties learn in the process. – Stephen Ford, Fitzgerald, Stevens & Ford, Inc.

12. Do More Asking Than Telling
A coaching culture is more likely to create employee commitment to do whatever it takes to get the job done, rather than simply creating employee compliance to do the minimum to get by. Asking more questions, and truly listening to the responses rather than just telling people what to do can strongly contribute to creating a coaching culture. A command culture puts a tremendous burden on the leader to always know the answer, and in today’s world, that is simply no longer possible. – Kathy Bernhard, KFB Leadership Solutions



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