Creating a Coaching Culture by Cathy Liska
Coaching remains widely misunderstood. The terms mentor and consultant are often mistakenly used interchangeably with the term coach. Resource and training professionals are often seen as coaches – sometimes they are also trained as coaches and sometimes they themselves misunderstand the differences.
The most significant difference is that other professional roles are the experts with the answers and a coach is the expert at eliciting the answers from the person doing the work. Bottom line, if someone is telling, directing, or advising, they are NOT coaching. Instead coaching involves listening and asking questions.
Developing a coaching culture and using a coaching style of management with listening and asking questions is increasingly a tool used in organizational development. On a personal level, coaching skills help with relationships at home, with friends, and in the community. Coaching empowers people to find and apply their own answers. It is positive. It is proactive. It works.
Coaching enhances outcomes because people value the experience of others seeking to understand them and acting on their ideas. How? Process, language, listening, questions. The chapter in Coaching Perspectives IV on Creating a Coaching Culture provides the detail on how to use coaching techniques in your day-to-day interactions.
Coaching recognizes that each person is their own best expert. Because everyone is their own best expert, coaching skills and a coaching culture creates an environment where individuals focus on possibilities and open their thinking. Coaching creates the opportunity to brainstorm and talk through different ideas, which supports effective decision making. Coaching supports people by ensuring they are intentional about their strategy and action steps. Coaching also recognizes success along the way and encourages people to acknowledge what they achieve to them self.
Imagine the impact of a culture where people focus on the future, are positive and proactive, and believe in empowering individual awareness and choice!