When you’ve seen businesses grow, on average, by 20% a year, it becomes difficult not to sound like an evangelical preacher on the subject of coaching and its importance to business success. It is quite simply transformational. It will change your business from one where people, reluctantly, do what they’re told and need to be actively managed, to one where your people drive the success of the business, because they want to.
But developing coaching skills and a coaching culture can be a challenge, particularly when so many businesses have to deliver in fast-paced environments and provide instant solutions. How do you go about it?
Culture comes from the top; your team will emulate what you do. Be open about the fact that you have a coach and make sure your top team are coached.
Try using coaching to harness ‘positive discontent’, balancing pride in achievements with encouragement to build on them further.
Coaching requires a calm approach, facilitative questioning, listening without interruption, and the use of silence. Interrupting blocks people from feeling, thinking and accessing their own ideas. Help the rest of your team understand this and share techniques.
If you encourage people to question, rather than accuse, you get to the bottom of the issue far more quickly. People are more constructive and honest when they’re not trying to defend themselves.
In coaching we encourage people to decide on priorities, SMART objectives and review times. However, this approach is also effective in getting your people to own their job and outcomes.
Your people management processes such as appraisals, all need to encourage the coaching culture. People will do what you measure, judge and reward them by.
Of course, developing a coaching culture is a journey, not a quick fix, but I have been astonished by the results I’ve seen time and time again in relatively short periods. The business growth statistics are compelling but just as rewarding for me,
is seeing teams brimming with confidence, fully engaged with their business and excited by what they’re doing. For that reason, I have to say I love what I do – I can’t imagine anything more rewarding!