The glitter ball’s been polished, sequins have been sewn and the spotlight is ready to shine on yet more eager contestants of TV’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ – but what on earth has that got to do with creating a Coaching Culture? Apart from the obvious link that all non-trained dancers are of course partnered up with a professionally trained dancer and coach, there’s much more to it than meets the eye….
Think about the first few weeks for the fearful celebrity contestants – most of them do well to cobble just a few matched steps and a fake smile or two together as they’re almost dragged (-gracefully of course) around the dance floor by their leader. And in work, it appears to be no different. If only the leader as Coach knows what they are doing and why, then the couple is destined to fail before they can even begin to have a solid coaching relationship. Think about it – a good tango takes two daahling!
Make sure that everyone involved fully understands what coaching is (and isn’t). To really embed a coaching culture into your company’s DNA and create real shared value, everyone from top to bottom needs to engage and understand what coaching’s about, why you’re doing it and ultimately what’s in it for them. Take time to ground coaching into the wider mission, vision and values, personal development programmes and performance management processes at all levels. By having a robust Coaching Strategy with clear guidelines on how its success will be measured as it’s rolled out are key – think Bruno Tonioli and Co… they have more than clear expectations of what needs to be measured in order for progression and success or otherwise to be achieved. (‘Seveeen!’)
Once up and running, as the weeks/months progress and to ensure that a healthy coaching culture is sustained (remember, it’s easier to revert to old non-coaching behaviours when the difficult conversations kick in), care needs to be taken to ensure that regular checks are done to review what’s happening and its direct impact (‘Len’s Lens’ does just the trick on Strictly). Make sure you undertake regular observational snapshots of what’s really happening, for example you may consider:-
For routine challenging conversations and open, well intentioned feedback to be freely accepted and become second nature throughout your business, remember that coaching as a skill and a natural behaviour takes time and effort on both sides. But once colleagues have trodden on each others’ toes a few times and got to grips with coaching as a way of working, then the hard work will pay dividends – ok, they probably won’t win the coveted glitter ball and a nationwide, very well paid dancing tour off the back of it, but they will become empowered to make their own decisions without fear and repercussions of looking silly and for most, (as in the show) they’ll want to continue with their new way of working and “Keeeeep Coaching!”.
If your business is embarking on creating a Coaching Culture, needs to train a new crop of Coaches or just needs help to breathe life into your existing Coaching Culture, then get in touch now to see how we can help.