How to create a coaching climate
Companies often recognise the importance and the need to offer coaching to its leaders, managers, and employees as part of the strategic initiative to ensure that its people have all the support they need to thrive in the workplace. Indeed, investing in its people is the best investment a company can make.
When an organisation succeeds in creating a coaching climate, it lays the foundation for its growth in the short and long term and ensures that the investment's return will be in terms of job satisfaction, happiness, and workforce retention, thus creating a legacy that will last far in the future.
Attitudes that signal a coaching climate
- people are seen as capable
- development is as important as deadlines
- mistakes are regarded as opportunities for learning
- feedback is given with a focus-forward orientation
Believing others to be capable
To shift to a coaching climate, it's important to be aware of what people believe about themselves and others. Sometimes, people that come to an organisation want to prove themselves trying their best to excel and shine to avoid the threat that may come from others who can do their job as well or better.
Instead of supporting a competitive climate where people are micro-managed, finger-point or blame each other and where trust is constantly eroded, a company should foster a climate of collaboration, learning, and development, where people feel empowered to step up knowing the others will help them be successful. When a company embraces this shift, they make the first step toward a coaching climate.
Emphasising development and meeting targets and deadlines
Within a coaching climate, there is always a focus on opportunities to develop others together with an emphasis on goals, targets, and deadlines. Focusing only on goals, targets, and deadlines there will always be something that will come up to take away time from long-term development.
The high price to pay, however, is that the amount of time you have to do things that others could be doing, rather than the things only you can do. Certainly, it takes time to develop others to bring them to the point that they become skilled in figuring things out by themselves and becoming experts in problem-solving. Indeed, the time spent developing others is the time that one day will be yours.
Learning from mistakes
Whilst in most companies mistakes cost employee credibility and trust, within a coaching climate, mistakes become opportunities for learning and growth, and the focus is on finding better options or solutions. In such a climate people take more responsibility for their mistakes, knowing that everyone will learn from them.
Giving feedback with a focus-forward orientation
Leaders and managers in an organisation often fear both receiving and giving feedback. However, when given properly promptly, it can inspire development and growth. When a company declares that the purpose of feedback is to help people to develop, feedback takes on a different meaning and role. Focusing on what's ahead, instead of the traditional reviews which focus on the past, will give excellent opportunities to discuss developmental activities that will help employees to accomplish their jobs and themselves for their career growth.
In conclusion, it is important to emphasise that, to create a coaching climate, the message must come from the top level of the organisation. Senior leaders must buy into the vision that creating such a climate will ensure people's development and, as a direct consequence, business development and growth.