Earlier, I shared these five important pitfalls to avoid when building a coaching culture in your organisation:

  1. Anti-role modelling
  2. Let’s take it all in-house
  3. Keep it clean
  4. One size fits all
  5. Not every conversation needs to be a coaching conversation

Now that you’re aware of the pitfalls, here is some insight on how to avoid them.

A few years ago, a very successful businessman said, “Don’t be afraid to make intelligent change.” This advice stuck with me and has served me well since. It is great advice when it comes to making maximum positive use of coaching and coaching principles within an organisation. In today’s climate (economic, political, social, environmental), change is inevitable and constant. Being afraid or hesitant to make the necessary changes within an organisation for it to thrive, or even survive, is obviously misguided. However, it’s the intelligent change that I find interesting here…

At what point and in what way do you make change? Do you react? An example of this is when organisations wait until their employees are completely stressed out and disengaged before taking any action and then “send” them to coaching to try and re-motivate them. Do you respond? You notice the early signs of strain. Performance slowly declines and leaders seem overwhelmed with the day-to-day agenda and less able to operate strategically. They are offered coaching to help them refocus and set direction. Or, are you proactive? You recognise the benefits that coaching can bring to your organisation and, rather than wait for problems to arise before introducing coaching, you embrace coaching proactively as a developmental and aspirational tool to help your organisation turn its own aspirations in to reality.

At the end of the day, coaching is going to add value at whatever point you introduce it. However, if you really want to maximise its benefits and fully leverage a return on your investment, or, even more significantly, a return on your expectations, then taking an intelligent approach to change is going to give you the best results. Each step towards building a coaching culture will reap benefits for your organisation. The concept of incrementalism also means that you will soon begin to notice the ripple effect that coaching has throughout your entire infrastructure.

In summary, the first step towards a coaching culture is mindset. In her book “Mindset,” Carol Dweck describes two types of mindset; fixed and growth. Having a growth mindset is what is going to help an organisation towards achievement and success and proactively leveraging coaching is a powerful horse to have in your stable.

To learn more about how to make the best use of coaching in your organisation, sign up for our Coaching Culture Insider. This monthly email provides resources and insider tips from leaders in organisations who have already created successful coaching cultures in addition to information we have learned from work in this field over the past 15 years. We’re here to help you bring coaching into your organisation in a way that truly makes a positive difference through developing a strategy that is just right for you, your people and your business.

Tracy Sinclair, MCC

Tracy Sinclair, MCC is co-founder and CEO of Coach Advancement by Tracy Sinclair. She co-authored Becoming a Coach: The Essential ICF Guide (2020) and hosts the Coaching in Conversation podcast. In 2020, she founded Coaching with Conscience to have a positive impact on society and our environment through coaching.

Tracy is dedicated to the development of the coaching profession and the coaching community and has served in both local and global boards and workgroups for the International Coaching Federation. She was awarded an ICF Coaching Impact Award for Distinguished Coach in 2023, named one of the Leading Global Coaches of the Thinkers50 Marshall Goldsmith Coaching Awards (2019, 2021), and was a finalist for the Thinkers50 Coaching and Mentoring Award (2021). She is also a member of the Marshall Goldsmith 100Coaches and a trained coaching supervisor, mentor coach and ICF assessor.

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