Coaching has become a term that is no longer just associated with sports and athletics. You’ve probably seen or heard the term life coach several times already and wondered what it is. The way a basketball or gymnastics coach would train and motivate an athlete to win in an event is the same way a life coach helps individuals perform better in life.
This concept has also been adopted in the workplace with numerous companies providing coaching services for their employees. The great thing about building a coaching culture is it will work for all types of businesses and organizations. Whether you own a small industrial crane rental service company or you’re running a volunteer org in your community, a coaching culture helps improve the group’s overall performance by improving the individuals.
Why build a culture of coaching?
So why coaching? What’s the big deal about it? We were doing fine without it all these years. Why bring it up now?
Command-and-control is no longer impactful and relevant today
A coaching culture positions an organization for greater success as it focuses on improving individual performance through a nurturing relationship. Gone are the days of “I’m the boss so do as I say.” Employees are no longer easily intimidated today, especially with the practically limitless employment options online now. If a worker feels undermined and unappreciated, it’s a lot easier for him or her to walk out the door and leave the boss with a loss.
Employees are individuals with their own different needs
As mentioned, people want to be appreciated and valued at work. However, each person has different needs and wants. There are no two people in an organization who have the exact needs and are in the exact situation. Each person has a unique background with a different set of needs and coaching can help address the individual’s needs so they can shine better in the workplace.
Investing in employees is one of the wisest business decisions a business owner can make
Whenever the term “investment” is thrown in a discussion, the first thing that comes to mind would be business or stocks. Folks want to put their money into something that will give them a good return. However, most employers fail to recognize that their people are their greatest assets. Without them, their company and organization will not thrive. Any business owner worth his salt knows that investing in people — by making them better individuals and professionals — is the wisest thing any employer could ever do.
How do you build a coaching culture?
Now that we’ve established how a coaching culture benefits both employees and employers, how can the higher-ups build it in the workplace?
Be the model
Leadership is no longer defined by bossing people around. Nowadays, people define leaders as the one who paves the way and makes it easier for others to follow. In this case, the leadership becomes a model — a standard — that others should emulate. If the business leadership wants to instill a culture of coaching within the organization, they must voluntarily go through the process and set an example to everyone. The attitude leaders should have now is, “I gained a lot from this and I want you to experience the same thing.”
Ask more, listen more, talk less
Often, people want their opinions and thoughts to be heard and valued. However, within an organizational setting, the voice that is heard the loudest is that of the leader. And typically, the leader’s voice is directorial and instructional. “Do this and do that or else.”
If leaders truly want to make a positive impact and want their people to grow, they need to learn to shut their mouths more and open their ears a lot. Workers who have leaders who genuinely listen to what they have to say are more likely to work harder and be more loyal to the company because they know their voices are valued. The ability to listen allows leaders to also grow in empathy. And instead of just talking, leaders should also learn how to ask the right types of questions that will put both them and their workers in a position of greater maturity.
Start right with the right training
Coaching doesn’t come naturally to people. It takes time and proper training to do well. Look for the right training program that will teach individuals of all levels within the organization in the ways of coaching. It is not the same as mentoring or advising. It is more intentional and regular. Getting the right training at the onset and supplementing it with follow-up sessions will help keep everyone aligned which results in greater positive individual and organizational impact.
Focus on progress, not perfection
No matter how hard you work, you will never achieve perfection. No one can. Having a perfectionist’s mindset can be overbearing and burdensome on oneself and other people. Instead of aiming for perfection, shift the attention to how much progress a person is making. This way, it’s easier to celebrate the small wins and build a culture of gratitude in the workplace where no one will take anything for granted, including those baby steps.
To sum it all up, a coaching culture ensures higher chances of success both for the individuals and the corporation. Those who are quick to adopt it in their workplace are putting themselves in a better position to see greater returns and rewards.