Creating a Coaching Mindset

According to research, organisations with excellent cultural support for coaching experience 13% better business results and 39% stronger engagement. Organisations where senior leaders coach very frequently enjoy 21% higher business results.

Creating a Coaching Mindset

The Importance of a Coaching Culture

When leaders coach, they create a culture that is empowering and energising. When coached, people develop, their motivation elevates, and they engage more deeply. According to research, organisations with excellent cultural support for coaching experience 13% better business results and 39% stronger engagement. Organisations where senior leaders coach very frequently enjoy 21% higher business results.

Coaching helps by making sense of change, guiding individuals through change and making every conversation aligned to the change. It also enables people to confront their real and perceived weaknesses, in turn transforming them into strengths. It allows individuals to challenge themselves in a safe environment, knowing they have the wisdom and absolute support of their coach, who is completely on their side.

Coaching shifts the power dynamic between leader and team. Through coaching, power is granted generously, which empowers. Leaders see power as more like a see-saw, balanced between themselves and others, than a jungle-gym, where the aim is to claim the highest ground. For a coaching culture to thrive, typical competitiveness between senior leaders must reduce. By adopting a coaching style laterally as well as hierarchically, senior leaders can reduce petty silo behaviour. They must acknowledge the necessity of collaboration for achieving strategic outcomes. Senior leaders need to be less focused on the high ground, achieving success through individual effort, and aim for success through shared ground, through the aligned efforts of everyone.

In this masterclass you will learn the difference between coaching and teaching, you will be taught the techniques to develop those around you and you will be able to create a coaching culture in your whole business.

The Difference Between Coaching and Teaching

Coaching cultures are more responsive and adaptive. Organisations need leaders who can make change happen quickly, which coaching facilitates.  When coaching is added to other learning programs, research shows that learning increases by up to six times.

The simple reason for creating a coaching culture is that coaching elevates the performance of everyone. It generates new ideas, new possibilities, and new energy. In a coaching culture leaders cultivate trust by supporting and developing others. They focus on helping others to do their best work. Not only does more and better quality work get done, this has the enormous benefit of relieving the ‘power stress’ they feel.

By the end of this video you will understand the difference between coaching and teaching, you will feel the importance of creating a coaching culture within your business and you will be able to clearly state the benefits to others.

The difference between coaching and teaching lies not only in their methods but in their results too. While teaching clearly transmits knowledge, without the checking mechanisms of examinations or tests we are unable to record whether the transmission is successful. Teaching is more about the transmission of facts rather than abilities. Results tend to be very individual depending upon the effort of the individual student to retain and regurgitate them. Coaching is more of an internal process, where a person is asked to so fully take on board the coaching content that it changes, not necessarily who they are, more how they are.

Coaching is so powerful that it increases well-being at work; people feel more satisfaction, they are more positive and they are more likely to feel they have the right resources to meet their challenges, not just current challenges but future challenges too. And by being deliberately developmental, a coaching culture grows future leaders as it empowers and develops the current leaders.

Coaching is also an excellent way to improve culture. According to research, a coaching style reinforces a flexible culture that is guided by purpose and learning. People welcome change rather than stability. They care about the future, and are more open and agile. Coaching embodies these features. This creates an affinity between the means and the end, helping to speed change and get better business done quicker. So coaching is much much more than a transmission of facts.

A recent study illustrated how training leaders to be internal coaches is a more scalable, sustainable and robust approach to driving change and improving performance than hiring external coaches. Early indicators show significant increases in retention, engagement, productivity and performance, as well as ROI being over 17 x investment, across organizations that have developed internal coaching.

So let’s just check that you have taken this onboard. Why is having a coaching mindset important in the workplace? Pause the video and list 5 reasons.

Reasons we came up with as to why having a coaching mindset is so important in the workplace are that it

In a coaching culture Leaders cultivate trust by supporting and developing others

And it

So, we’ve talked about the benefits of a coaching culture but what we haven’t really addressed yet is what actually is a coaching mindset? Make some notes now as I go through this.

A coaching mindset is one where senior leaders:

Us and the Coaching Compass

In this video we’re going to turn the spotlight on ourselves and our behaviour and look at what it takes to be a great coach and bring out the best in those around you. By the end of this video you will have a much greater understanding of the personal characteristics required by a coach to be successful, you will feel as though you can absolutely do this and you will be in possession of the tools and guidance you need to make it happen.

But what if we don’t see ourselves as coaches? It’s totally understandable that you might have fear about being a coach, or seeing yourself as a coach, or setting yourself up as a coach in the business and getting negative reactions from people. But we are going to turn that round today. It’s all so much more doable than you think. You are not setting yourself up as some all-knowing guru or even being a charlatan who claims a buddha like knowledge of what to do in all circumstances. A coach just isn’t like that. A coach is someone who encourages the other to find the answers. A coach asks questions to encourage deeper thought or different thought, a person who asks questions rather than provides the answers. If we’re going to do this well, if we’re going to instils a coaching culture in our business we must see ourselves as coaches. If we see ourselves as coaches then we act as coaches, and if we act as coaches then we perpetuate the coaching effect all around us.

Coaching is contagious. Its contagion helps it to spread readily creating a ripple effect. When leaders in organisations start coaching, people start to find their own answers and become more resourceful. People work more effectively together because they engage in dialogue, they listen and ask questions rather than tell, and they see resistance as an opportunity rather than a threat. The nature of conversations between people changes. Interactions become more positive. The coaching style ripples out as more people enjoy its experience.

Coaching cultures are genuinely authentic, clear in purpose and meaning. They create a sense of vitality for people, which leads to feeling invigorated and complete at work. But how can we get started? What should we do? Well a good place to start is The Coaching Compass.

The coaching compass shows the four essential aspects of trust, which are central to the relationship between coach and coachee. Those 4 essential aspects are: intention, respect, communication and openness. That’s intention, respect, communication and openness.

Trust is absolutely based on the intention of the person to whom you are speaking. If you can trust that your coach’s intention is truly to help you get the best out of you for you, then you will be open with them. If you think their intention is to tell your boss what you said about them, or where their weaknesses lie then they won’t be totally honest with you.

Respect is vital in a coaching relationship. If you don’t believe the coach has anything to give you why would you take the time to speak to them. My advice here comes in the form of a quote from Shakespeare, and it’s ‘the fool doth think he is wise, the wise man knows he is a fool.” I’ll say it again because people often get confused by the doth, so I’ll take that out. It’s basically ‘the fool thinks he is wise, the wise man knows he is a fool.” So the wise person knows that he can learn from anyone, it’s the stupid person who thinks they can’t learn from those around them.

I recently took part in a mentoring programme during which I got monthly coaching. Nick, my coach, was half my age and hadn’t ran a business before. But I still benefited from his coaching. He asked me the questions I needed to be asked, he provided accountability for me. In short I benefitted from his sessions despite his age and his comparative inexperience. Openness to coaching counts so much more than the experience or the knowledge of the coach.

Communication is key in establishing a trusting coaching relationship. It’s vital that the coach behaves in the following manner:

That you Listen intently,

You ask probing questions: what do you mean by that? Why do you think that is the case? How do you feel about that? What have you done well? What could you have done better? What can you do about that? And? And, what else?

And fundamentally that you don’t offer advice yet, the minute you offer advice you are no longer coaching. If you offer advice too soon you become a teacher, not a coach. As a coach you are all about getting your coachee to come up with the solutions, not providing them for them. Only at the end when you have exhausted the coaches thoughts should you tentatively proffer some advice. If you tell them what to do you also remove ownership from them for solving their own issues. It’s vital that you don’t jump in but that you continuously offer support and encouragement in assisting them to own their issue and develop a solution.

Openness is the fourth dimension in establishing trust between yourself and your coachee. Coaching is pointless if you are not open with each other. There should be no air of mystery. You should be absolutely open and honest with each other. You do not have to have all the answers, or even any of the answers. If your coachee expects you to then they are being lazy or fearing discomfort and should be gently nudged out of this laziness or comfort zone and supported to say things that are most probably in their heads. Assure them you are non-judgemental, that you are on their side, that you will help them with what’s happening.

Stephen Covey talks about Trust as a tax versus dividend where low trust is a tax on a relationship, whereas high trust in a relationship pays out like a dividend.

The Coaching Relationship Compass™ guides the coach’s behaviour towards developing a trusting relationship with the coachee … creating the conditions for coaching … and supporting the coachee to find their way and achieve their own success.

The compass metaphor provides the coach with direction, or a framework, for establishing their presence as a coach, creating a safe environment for the coachee to be thoroughly unguarded in.

The coaching relationship is the responsibility of the coach. If you’re going to create a coaching culture in your workplace then you must adopt the mindset of the coach. What is that mindset? Well there are 10 guiding principles and you can write them in your book

If you adopt these behaviours then others around you will too. I have seen it happening in many business with whom we work. All it takes is one person to start the ball rolling.

Before we come to the end of this session though I just want to give you a few tips in terms of setting the right tone.

3 Steps to Nailing the Opening of Each Coaching Session

3 Ways to Make Sure Your Coachee Does What Needs to Be Done

You might not have all the answers for them but your role is to facilitate their creative process or opening of their mind so that they can see the answers for themselves.

As you can see from what we have just gone through the coaching relationship is very much controlled by the coach. Although the coach is listening and questioning rather than speaking most of the time it is a very active role. Active listening, active questioning, challenging, encouraging. It’s important to remain positive and praise all progress. While it might be necessary to unpick a negative experience to move forward it must remain a priority at all times to ensure the lessons are learned from what has happened. It’s also very important to ensure the coachee accepts responsibility for their own actions and reactions, the coach must not pander to the coachee as that would erode the true north of ‘intention’.

Being a coach carries real responsibility. It’s very important that you carry out this role with the utmost integrity. It takes a lot of courage for people to open themselves up to you, to talk about their worries, their fears, their weaknesses. Do not betray that trust. Remember always that they are placing the vulnerable egos in your hands. Be worthy of their trust and model those great behaviours you are perhaps advising them to do.

Take the time now to read over the notes you have made. Then I want you to sit back and think about who you could approach in order to start the ball rolling of creating a coaching culture in your workplace. Can you buddy people up, and encourage them to coach each other? Can you create a flexible schedule where people mix up their coaches, perhaps having 2 or 3 people they rotate? Can you create some cross-departmental coaching so that you encourage communication across the entire business?

Coaching is extremely rewarding, it’s the best part of my job. Enjoy it. The more you do, the better you will become.

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