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A Paradigm Shift: It’s Never Too Late To Transform The Stigma Of Coaching In Our Workplace

It isn’t uncommon for managers and leaders use coaching as a means to help under-performing staff members. As a result, many people associate coaching as a stigma – or even a scarlet letter that identifies them as needing additional support. Why only spend time allocating ‘coaching’ to those who are underperforming when you can devote such attention to top performers?

Creating a culture of coaching has become mainstream in the most successful organizations.

Why?

When our top performers, our really strong team members, and our best front-line workers know we’ve incorporated continuous coaching opportunities as a means for growth (and eventual advancement), there is natural spike in productivity, effectiveness, and efficiency. When our people know we want to provide continuous room for development for their benefit, it’s quite pleasing to see how well they respond.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to adopt a culture of coaching in our workplace.

Everyone benefits from coaching. A quick google search of your favorite renowned leaders, artists, or performers will prove that many willingly declare to consistently retaining a dedicated coach.

If you aren’t already doing so, the great news is that it’s never too late.

Shift Your Mindset and Watch Your Top Performers Soar

Our top performers are truly the fun ones to coach because they’re on the ball. They already know their role and responsibilities well. Instilling a culture of coaching puts us constantly one step ahead. And the benefits stretch far beyond what initially meets the eye.

After all, coaching a strong employee is going to … make him even stronger. Even better. When they realize your commitment to their growth, be prepared to watch them soar.

Why not contemplate on a couple of ideas – thoughts for an-already-great-employee:

  • Coaching our top mechanic on the importance of customer relationships positions him to not only be excellent at his trade but great with our customers, too.
  • Coaching our best project manager on the art of ‘choosing her words carefully’ when communicating with team leads. This will further improve her success rate because not only can she manage some of our most complex projects but those on the receiving end are more likely to truly hear the messages she’s delivering.
  • Coaching our finest hairdresser in taking initiative so he isn’t relying on existing customers, but positioning himself to become an even stronger asset to the company by learning how to attract new customers.
  • Coaching our best HVAC installer skills for advancement. Not only will he respond extremely well to the idea that he’s being molded for becoming an even stronger asset to the company, but it makes life a lot easier on us in the long run.

When our organization’s managers and leaders take on a coaching mindset, our company’s culture will evolve naturally into one of continuous guidance, support, and opportunities. Plus, when we instill a workplace of coaching it helps to remove any stigma that employees are being coached as the result of a particular performance situation.

Remember, coaching can be likened to a mindset. Once we get in the groove, it becomes more natural.

When our staff knows that they are supported, they are more comfortable with presenting creative ideas. Innovation starts to flow. They want to be involved. When our people know that there are opportunities for growth, the level of commitment ensues.

Tips for Transitioning into a Positive Coaching Culture

Some tips for transitioning if you aren’t already supporting a culture of coaching in your workplace include:

  • Sustain some structure and boundaries (this requires some planning on our end)
  • Make sure the words, tone, and inflection you choose are open and inviting
  • Create a routine until it becomes more mainstream and natural
  • Be flexible and adaptable. It makes it easier on everyone as adjustment ensues
  • Offer opportunities for learning. Most of us have some key employees who want to know what it takes to move up in the company. Assure them that this is a ticket to getting there
  • Remove judgement. This is especially important in the early stages when people are trying to adjust to a new and transforming culture
  • The key is in asking the right questions at the right time. Let us know if you want some more tips in this area (our team has lots of tips that might serve you well here)
  • Hold them accountable. Hold your direct reports accountable too, for making sure their staff is following through
  • Don’t forget: refrain from controlling most of the conversation. The goal is to guide them using appropriate open-ended questions delivered at optimal times

Leaders know they are being modeled with every move they make. That means that the best defense is a good offense here. To shift the paradigm, start by using your own dedicated coach if you aren’t already doing so. If you are leading a larger organization, it is highly recommended that your team of direct reports participate in some training so they have the tools they need to successfully coach their staff, too.

Realize that there the difference between coaching and mentoring or coaching and consulting. There is a big difference because the processes are unique even if the results are closely aligned.

The rewards are endless and you have a lot to look forward to …

Dr. Jennifer Beamanhttp://forleadership.org/
FOR over 25 years, Jennifer has served as an executive consultant helping organizational leaders streamline processes and strategies by enhancing skills and practices. Serving as a strategic consultant to industry-wide businesses throughout California, she soon recognized the unparalleled value of human capital. In turn, she introduced leadership and executive development services, thereby providing a more holistic opportunity for clients. Cornerstone to helping leaders recognize the power of their actions and behavior, she weaves the art of emotional intelligence into all interactions, thereby promoting thorough value to the entirety of organizational systems. Joining ranks as a business owner in 2004, she partnered in a California-based sign manufacturing business. This business served a variety of clients, primarily larger corporations, franchises and Fortune 100-500s. In 2008, she participated in partnership in southern California specializing in project management and leadership development services. This corporation served clients ranging from Fortune 50-100s. The Association for Leadership Practitioners is a subsidiary of a parent company opened in 2010 and serves clients ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500s. Dr Beaman also serves as a partner at Chasing Limitless, Inc., providing strategic consulting and executive leadership development services to catapult organizational revenue and growth and primarily serves Fortune 500 companies. She holds a Doctorate in Management with a focus in Organizational Leadership; Master's degree in Organizational Management; and Bachelor's degree in Organizational Development. She is an active member is several professional affiliations and volunteers on a consistent basis helping entrepreneurs and doctoral students working toward publishing their dissertations.

8 COMMENTS

  1. There is a strong disdain for coaching because of so called coaches, not real coaches, that rely on their own system they developed — a system that is often incompatible with the leadership style or organization the client belongs to.

    This morning — we were discussing what our services are here at C-SUITE DATA. And we see that a lot of the terms we use to explain what we do can be real bad hot buttons for our clients. We’re planning to phase out the following in our messaging–

    “management consulting”
    “traditional”
    “Big Data”

    • I am soooo glad you brought this topic to the forefront Chris because it is a true problem we have in our organizations. Unlike surgeons, scientists, hair stylists, or mechanics who need some type of credentials or license to practice, coaching is largely unregulated.

      I’ve assessed far too many [reputable] corporations who use their own ‘internal coaches’ who practice exactly what you’ve explained. It’s extremely counterproductive and the polar opposite of what I was striving to exude in my article here. Inexperienced or inaccurate systems (for coaching or any type of professional development) is a waste of energy, time, and resources — and certainly does nothing for staff.

      I really appreciate that you all there at C-SUITE DATA were actually discussing the process of phasing out some of these common and antiquated terms/titles….

      Thank you dearly Chris for your feedback!!! 🙂

      • It seems that anyone can set up shop and call themselves a “coach”. I recently heard from a 23-year old that had a question about the preferred type of entity for her coaching business.

        She had a BA in hotel management and had been a desk clerk for 3 months and a night auditor for 6 months. Now she felt qualified to coach managers on how to better run their hotels. Right!

        • It’s absolute dismay to hear things like this! What’s worse is that so many people fall victim to this and waste time, energy, and money on someone who likes the title ‘coach’. Twenty three years simply does not provide the wisdom, experience, and true credentials needed to serve as a trusted advisor, consultant, coach, or any role that is providing professional development with this degree of importance!

          [it’s pathetic, to say the least….]

          Thank you for your feedback — that was a great lil’ story!!!!!!

    • Thank you dearly for chiming in Larry! I could not agree more – active and engaged listening is paramount (it goes such a long, long way) and a culture of coaching… sets the stage for continuous improvement – which makes life easier on everyone — while giving associates/staff the confidence that we want to provide them opportunities for growth 🙂

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