A coaching culture is a learning culture—a place where everyone is free to fail, learn, receive feedback, and be coached. This kind of culture is a goal for HR and talent development professionals, but developing it in an organization that is used to strict hierarchy, perfectionism, or micromanagement can be tricky. Here are four things you can start doing today to put your organization on the path to a healthier, more productive culture.
1. Get a CoachCoaching is regarded by many employees as a punitive or corrective measure, not a growth opportunity. These views may change when they see you engage with a coach and talk about the insights you gained through coaching. This influence works both up and down the org chart, and it’s one way HR professionals can encourage other leaders in the organization to be coached.
2. Train Your CoachesCoaching is a highly skilled profession, and you will want your professional in-house coaches to have ICF (International Coach Federation) certification in coaching competencies. Graduate schools such as Lipscomb University Online have excellent ICF-accredited programs that can prepare your team to coach well and earn an ICF ACC or PCC credential. These programs at nonprofit schools are often less expensive than non-credit corporate training. For example, Lipscomb has a program that provides discounts to students at partner companies that provide or recommend the Master’s in Performance Coaching program to their employees.
3. Train the Whole Organization in Coaching SkillsWhile not everyone can be a professional coach, everyone can learn some of the basic coaching skills: active listening, asking open-ended thinking questions, building the relationship, and providing structure and certainty in a conversation. The added benefit of these competencies is that they are helpful in all relationships and bring employees immediate value at work and at home. With common understanding and language around coaching skills, employees become more coachable and more willing to instruct instead of criticize or avoid conflict. It is vital that leaders demonstrate the importance of this learning by attending training and practice sessions in coaching skills.
Coaching training is available from many organizations, but don’t forget to reach out to local universities as well. A list can be found at the Graduate School Alliance for Education in Coaching.