As a leadership coach, I am often asked to visit organisations to coach individuals or sometimes a whole tier of leadership in order to support them becoming more advanced leaders.
As part of the completion session of the 1:1 coaching, I explicitly frame the skills I have used through the relationship and encourage each client to use those they believe would be beneficial while leading others. Ultimately, I am trying to develop a coaching culture within and across the organisation, attempting to enable individuals to become coaches themselves.
However, this alone does not achieve it. Studies across organisations show the following must take place to truly embed the culture:
- There is a desire for it at the heart of the organisation. It is a philosophy, a set of values in the way in which everybody is encouraged and expected to work. There are key objectives linked to its integration
- It is modelled from the top. Line management meetings in the main are coaching conversations where a coaching skillset is evident for example;
- great listening and paying attention
- great speaking with clarity and intention
- empowering, supporting and encouraging
- openness and honesty
- powerful questioning and curiosity
- goal/action focussed
- commitment and responsibility
- It is part of a learning and development plan for all while formal training is available for key leaders. This is properly funded and is part of the strategic plan
- There is access for all to a mixture of internal and external coaching
- There are key measurable objectives linked to the benefits of it. For example, the improvement of;
- working relationships
- leadership development
- self-esteem and confidence
- individual and team performance and subsequent outcomes
- retention and recruitment
- resilience, emotional intelligence and self-awareness
- well-being and life balance
- The impact is measured transparently and relates to the goals set by the organisation in its strategic plan. This might involve before and after surveys, 360-degree reviews etc.
There is an increasing trend for organisations to place coaching at the core of their ethos. The undeniable benefits can be abundant and extensive and can make a radical difference for the development of individuals and the success of the organisation.