Leaders & Teams

Optimising team performance

How to benefit from creating a coaching culture, encouraging empowerment and supportive conversations at all levels of an organisation.

Having an established coaching culture in an organisation creates the solid and supportive foundation for individuals, teams and companies to best adapt to their changing landscape. A coaching culture is fundamental to adopting new ways of working, innovation, and engagement, and ultimately increases team performance. 20% of the Top 10 indicate that empowerment is a key leadership skill going forward. Coaching by definition empowers others.

New leaders, new styles

There is a wide understanding that the command and control style of leadership is fast on its way out. It creates compliance rather than commitment. Coaching is an important piece in the complex puzzle of future leadership. Organisations which have a coaching culture are at the forefront of changing the conversations that leaders need to have to create change, influence without authority, and gain commitment from a workforce which increasingly requires purpose and autonomy. In order to do this, leaders must shift from being the expert who ‘tells’, to being the leader who listens to understand and engages with curiosity.

“There is a wide understanding that the command and control style of leadership is fast on its way out. It creates compliance rather than commitment”

Playing to strengths

To be effective, a coaching culture requires the sponsorship of the senior levels of the organisation. The leadership team must lend its endorsement and also embody its core behaviours. This both sets the tone and role models expected behaviours. In building and maintaining a coaching culture, it is also vital to first attract the right people with the right attitudes and skills. While traditional leadership attributes such as commerciality and strategic thinking remain important, qualities such as empathy and the ability to listen are essential. Talent management is therefore a vital element of creating a genuine coaching culture and achieving sustainable culture change.

A need for empathetic listeners

Coaching is often seen and branded as remedial. If coaching is seen only as an intervention for poor performance, there is no motivation or incentive for people in businesses to engage with it as a leadership style. Creating a culture of coaching which is endorsed as a form of empowerment will help rebrand coaching so it has the opportunity to transform the way organisations operate. It will also normalise ‘a coaching conversation’ to simply ‘a conversation’.

For this culture to take hold, organisations should make enabling others a recognisable top performance behaviour and reward this behaviour appropriately.Coaching is about letting go of having the answers and, more importantly, the need to be right. Go slow to go fast. Coaching takes time and is about more than just offering a quick solution. However, the time investment builds a more confident, engaged and creative workforce.Today’s organisations face multiple challenges on many fronts. In such a dynamic and unpredictable business environment, the effectiveness of leadership teams and the resilience of organisational culture has never been more important or more scrutinised.

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The potential is people