Why create a coaching culture?

creating a culture of coachingWith so much noise surrounding coaching these days it is hard to distinguish between good practice within coaching and mentoring and interventions that are merely responding to a fashionable trend.

Coaching has grown of age over the past 30 years, with many organisations using both internal coaches and mentors, as well as using external experts to deliver outstanding individual results.  Yet despite this maturity within the coaching and mentoring area, I still come across pockets of excellence of business coaching that have failed to move from isolated examples into long term and sustainable methods of doing business.

The main reason for this I believe is the lack of published and substantiated success of how coaching and mentoring can impact effectively on corporate objectives. Most coaching and mentoring interventions appear to remain at the 1:1 level. This is not surprising as coaching and mentoring is more often than not provided to support the individual. However the importance of the individual’s development should have a wider impact than on just their own performance and ability. It should have a knock on positive affect within their role, their department and ultimately on how they contribute to the success of the business.

There are some exciting and valuable reasons for an organisation to consider developing the ad-hoc coaching success into a method for doing business across the organisation, not least of which is to support developing whole departments and not just individuals.

Six great reasons

Here are six great reasons why your organisation should consider developing your occasional success of coaching and mentoring into an ongoing way of doing business.

1.     Coaching is a proactive approach and not remedial.

All too often, individuals have been referred to coaching and mentoring schemes because they are under performing and as such, coaching and mentoring has been viewed within an organisation as offering a remedial service. This is a shame as many outstanding performers view coaching and mentoring as a method to become even greater.

If we consider coaching from a sporting context, most great athletes use coaches to help them surpass even the great things they are currently achieving. Outstanding business leaders regularly use coaches to extend their success too, take a look at this you tube clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PclmUyPqqpo

2.     Coaching will support you providing what millennials demand from working environments.

In a recent blog I described the findings of a survey carried out by Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm, and Randstad, the third-largest HR services and staffing company in the United States. Together they conducted the first worldwide study to focus on the workplace preferences of both Generation Y (ages 21 to 32) and Generation Z (ages 16 to 20).

Key takeaways from the findings can be found at: https://www.salesimprovementservices.com/coaching-for-smes/

Companies that take advantage of Generation Z’s entrepreneurial spirit will be more likely to stay in front of the latest trends and be more competitive in their industry. By providing coaching, organisations can focus on providing opportunities for this new generation to integrate their entrepreneurial spirit into their job. Talk to them about their ideas for growth and their thoughts about where your business or company can go and this lets them know you value their contributions and their initiative.

Adopting a coaching culture from the top down helps all employees unlock their potential to maximise their own performance, it “helps them to learn” rather than being taught.

3.     Modern day training and development does not live within the classroom

Thousands of pounds and thousands of man hours have been spent on typical classroom based training. However, this 20th Century development model has been proven to fail in delivering long term and sustainable performance improvement.  In my blog on the 70:20:10 training method, I describe methods of how coaching and mentoring can support real time development methods that have dramatic results on staff performance. https://www.salesimprovementservices.com/the-702010-training-model-is-most-effective-for-learners/

4.     Your 21st Century buyer demands you become a supportive consultant.

How we buy has changed since the late 20th Century. The first thing a consumer will do is surf the internet and become an expert on their “need gap” before they buy. The consumer now expects their sales person to not sell in the traditional style but to become a trusted advisor making sure the research carried out by the buyer is accurate.

The skills of listening, questioning and understanding the customer’s specific needs are more than ever required to meet buyer expectations; such skill can be gained and enjoyed by establishing coaching techniques to support customer engagement.

Take a look at an earlier blog that provides more evidence to the statement:  https://www.salesimprovementservices.com/b2b-coaching-sales/

5.     Coaching is demanded as a communication style for all stakeholders

We can extend these key skills highlighted within the sales area to include internal customers too and the needs of internal customers and key stakeholders will be better understood if we can provide out team with great coaching skills.

By understanding our stakeholder needs we can truly deliver on our corporate goals: https://www.salesimprovementservices.com/build-better-relationships-with-key-stakeholders/

6.     Reverse mentoring provides a two way development culture

So what is reverse mentoring?  Reverse mentoring refers to an intervention in which older executives are paired with and mentored by younger employees. I have seen this work well in a recent initiative where younger employees were paired with senior managers to support the senior teams understanding of the cultural shift within the UK toward a more open and diverse range of ethnic backgrounds.

Many of us grey haired executives, now into our late 50’s and early 60’s have probably benefited from mentoring ourselves when we first entered the workplace. In my own circumstance I had a truly inspiring mentor in the mid 1970’s who shared his experience with me. these were mainly from ideas he had received from his own mentor several years earlier, who had no doubt received support and advice from a mentor too . . get the picture. Many senior managers will have gained inspiration from those who learned skills and developed values from things happening in the early to mid-20th century.

Reverse mentoring can be a fantastic way to inspire the older generation and in parallel provide a truly inspirational way of engaging the younger workforce with the senior executives of an organisation. This gives the younger team members a feeling of importance and belonging whilst supporting the older team to embrace modern values and share such themes with the future leaders.

Benefits of a coaching culture

Moving coaching and mentoring from a stand-alone, and often ad-hoc 1:1 intervention process into a strategic topic will help deliver coaching, mentoring and other training interventions into being  part of corporate development in line with corporate objectives.

It will help support other topics such as recruitment, staff retentions, corporate change and stakeholder satisfaction.

It will help your organisation meet the 21st Century business challenges such as economic austerity, recession, social responsibility, organisation agility and help build trust and openness with our stakeholders, an area that seems to have been forgotten by our banks, our politicians and celebrity role models.

It will do so by:

  • Linking coaching and mentoring to business drivers
  • Encouraging everyone in the organisation to participate and thrive from being coached.
  • Provide a structure to promote and make available great coaching and mentoring to all team members.
  • Manage and promote success of coaching and mentoring interventions so it can remain at the heart of organisational values and ethics.

For more information on how we can support your organisation move toward a coaching culture please contact: tim@salesimprovementservices.com

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About Tim Anderson
Tim has over thirty years’ experience within the sales environment as a sales person, a sales manager, a sales director and as a mentor and coach. He has run sales teams as a sales director within the IT sector as a direct re seller, a VAR and as an MSP. He has developed and exited from two IT businesses and supported three training and development organisations to grow their businesses by supporting their commercial offering. He has taken these teams through change initiatives . Tim continues to develop himself as a coach and has successfully taken his coaching into executive and leadership coaching. He has combined coaching with management and leadership development and regularly supports senior managers to take their next step upward in their careers. He is a qualified coach and a Chartered Manager and also holds a degree in professional consulting.
One Comment
  1. As an executive coach myself, I also believe that the coaching competencies of active listening and asking open ended question based in curiosity and not in judgment, are skills that change how we experience conversations everywhere, including in the workplace!

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