How to Build Momentum for Establishing a Coaching Culture


Here are some ideas on how to overcome objections and build momentum for establishing a coaching culture in your organization:

What is a coaching culture, anyway?

A coaching culture is founded on the guiding principles of coaching, which are on curiosity, compassion, centeredness and courage. Coaching approaches are woven into everyday conversations with the intention of being of service to others. People feel supported and encouraged to bring all they have to offer to all that they do. The tempo of the organization is calmer because people are more centered and focused on working with leverage points—the actions that make the biggest difference with the most focused effort. As a result, learning “in the moment” from day-to-day experiences becomes a way of life. And change is embraced as a creative challenge to break new ground.

We don’t have time for another initiative…

Ultimately, coaching saves people a lot of time. Like any new skill, it takes an investment of time and energy up front to get good at it. Once people begin to feel more comfortable, they are able to use coaching approaches to get to the heart of real issues in real time, coach people to take on more responsibilities, stop arguing and start finding shared paths forward and so much more. The time savings are real and significant. Check out our white paper, Coaching-Based Leadership: What It Is and Why It Matters to learn more.

One of the fastest and most effective ways of instilling a coaching culture is to train people to use coaching skills to support the attainment of a major change initiative, such as transitioning to no-rater performance support, changing a business model, or building a shared culture after a merger. “In the moment” coaching enable everyone in the change effort to quickly and effectively address the kinds of sticky issues that can cause change to stall out.

We already have a coaching model.

Everything changes and evolves, including coaching. It’s likely that since your last coaching model was adopted many things have changed in your organization, including your approach to marketing and sales, your IT systems and much more. If your old coaching model isn’t delivering the results your organization expects (and needs), it’s probably time to look at what’s next. Cylient’s Untying the Knot® approach to coaching is often used as the next level up in coaching because it builds on older coaching models without negating them.

We have to learn feedback first.

Feedback is actually a coaching approach that enables people to understand the unintended consequences of their behaviors. That’s why it’s essential to learn coaching approaches first. At Cylient, we use our Coaching in the Moment® workshop to establish the foundation of coaching in organizations and deepen the learning with our Feedback in the Moment®  workshop. Read our blog post, Feedback or Coaching: Which Comes First? to learn more.

How do we get started?

You need to take a coaching approach to building a coaching culture. That means working with the willing. We offer discounted pilot Coaching in the Moment workshops so that you can give your most influential stakeholders the opportunity to experience the work together. We suggest using their feedback (and enthusiasm) to guide how you bring coaching into the organization. We are happy to be thinking partners with you and your team to establish a clear path forward for embedding coaching-based leadership in your organization.

What if our senior leaders aren’t on board?

It’s great if your most senior leaders understand the importance of building a coaching culture and actively support the effort. It’s not necessary, though. It’s more common that coaching-based leadership catches on somewhere in the middle of the organization with influential leaders at the VP and Director levels who are struggling to make significant change happen and appreciate the value that a coaching-based leadership delivers. As momentum builds, coaching quickly spreads to other areas, including the top of the house.

How do we ensure that the learning catches on?

Transitioning to coaching-based leadership is a huge change. One that has to be supported over time to ensure that coaching becomes a part of the organization’s DNA. That’s why we built out an entire system for instilling coaching as a way of life. We will work with you to craft what will work best for your organization, which can include: