When it comes to coaching in support of professional development, a coaching culture is one that takes what has been taught in development programs and continues to prioritise learning outside of a formal setting. In building a coaching culture, it is important to remember the impact that emotion and mental health play in performance. Leaders who coach, as opposed to manage, their team will see a greater improvement in performance and success.
Coaching vs. Managing
Many management styles of leadership tend to focus on task delegation and optimising work practices in order to achieve as much as possible. While this is great for the bottom line, it is not always so great for our employees. The pressure to reach certain targets can often lead to poorer performance and unsatisfactory results. When individuals fail to meet expectations, a manager may reassign them to another project, leaving the cause of the issue unresolved.
A coach will instead take the time to work through mistakes with individuals to give them a better understanding of what has gone wrong. This allows them the opportunity to develop the skills needed to perform their task correctly while remedying their mistake. It addresses the issue directly without punishing the individual. One of the positive effects of executive coaching on culture is that it establishes an environment that builds high performers by allowing them to gain valuable experience.
Coaching to Lead
When leaders develop a coaching strategy, team performance improves due to increased engagement and personal relationships. Using leadership and coaching tools for cultural change is the most effective way to increase team performance. Leadership coaching uses a combination of formal feedback reporting and honest communication to establish trusting relationships between leaders and their teams. By developing their own coaching skills, leaders establish a precedent of continual development and education.
Executive coaching helps leaders understand their strengths and work towards achieving their personal and professional goals. By employing these same techniques in their leadership practices, a culture of coaching naturally develops. To make skills development a sustainable component of an organisation, establishing leaders as coach rather than manager is necessary. When leaders become educators, the autonomy and productivity of teams improves.
Establishing a coaching culture can have a significant impact on how your organisation approaches skills development. It shifts the role of leaders from being directive and task oriented, to being much more of a mentorship. Teaching your leaders how coach skills build teams that are more independent and collaborative. Coaching reduces the fear of failure and builds confidence in individuals that allows them to take more risks and become more innovative.
What coaching strategies do you employ to promote skills development?
About the Author: The Leadership Sphere
The Leadership Sphere helps small and medium businesses and larger organisations in Australia, in creating value through leadership. The Leadership Sphere provides a humanistic approach to the way it delivers leadership, performance and coaching services. We work with leaders and senior teams who need to gain increased clarity, build capability and ensure contribution at every level in the organisation, and enable a safe, inclusive and high trust organisation.