Create a Culture of Coaching

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What is a coaching culture? Creating a culture of coaching means your business intentionally establishes a structure, processes, and systems across the organization where individuals and their personal and professional development are prioritized. If it sounds daunting, it is, but the benefits of creating a coaching culture are substantial.

You may already have some individuals in your organization who promote a culture of coaching without any formal processes or systems in place. So what are these individuals doing to create this ideal culture?

Create a Safe Environment

This one is a no-brainer, but many businesses need help with it. People in working environments with explosive leaders or leaders who prefer to place blame instead of explore solutions often hide mistakes and feel like questions are a way to trap them. If employees do not feel safe, secure, and equitably treated, they will not be willing to explore the deeper conversation necessary for a culture of coaching.

Ask Questions

Quiet Leadership has been around for a long time, but when implementing a culture of coaching, the idea of asking questions instead of giving answers takes on a new level of importance. The main premise of Quiet Leadership is to ask questions to encourage individuals to think through challenges and solve their own problems. Many people in leadership positions mean well when they jump in to solve problems or immediately share how they would handle the issue, but it sends the wrong message to employees. Instead, leaders should focus on asking the right questions to help the person get to the answer independently. Some of these questions are:

  • What does the ideal outcome look like?
  • What are the options for moving forward?
  • What barriers do you foresee running into?
  • How will you overcome barriers?
  • If that doesn’t work, what else could you try?
  • What is your first step going to be?
  • When are you going to take that step?
  • Is there anything specific I can do to help?

Setting Clear Expectations

It is important to know what success looks like, what to prioritize, and how to improve. Defining what success looks like begins with setting goals. From there, it is communication, communication, communication. And in case that didn’t sink in, some more communication!

Everyone at the organization has many fighting initiatives they are attempting to juggle. Communicating your expectations on a project once and then not following up again until the deadline is going to result in a misunderstanding. Be sure to continue to share necessary updates, ensure people have the tools they need, and trust them to do the work.

Focus on Development

To have a culture of coaching, people in leadership positions must want people to and believe people can grow, learn, and develop new skills. What’s the point of coaching if you believe they couldn’t? This process should be collaborative, exploring each individual’s unique strengths and passions. Sometimes it means letting one of your best sales reps explore a path in web development. It is about giving individuals opportunities to explore things they find engaging.

Creating a plan allowing your organization to implement coaching into its structure, processes, and systems can be daunting. Get started by grasping your team’s desires and headspace through an employee engagement survey. Based on the results, identify who will have access to coaching. Hopefully, the end result would be “everyone!” but select a small group within the organization when getting started. Test some processes, collect feedback, tweak the process, and expand. If you need help getting started, consider using Innereactive’s employee engagement services! We can implement surveys, measure and report on results, and consult on the next steps based on individual results.


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Heather Morrison
Heather is the VP of Operations at Innereactive and we are lucky to have her. She has over five years of experience running an HR department and enjoys helping businesses like yours find solutions to their HR needs.


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