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:

  • Establishing the foundation of coaching with our Coaching in the Moment workshop
  • Use our 8-week Coach-the-Coach email series (that includes audio and videos), our Coaching in the Moment blog, and app to reinforce the learning
  • Deepen the learning with our Feedback in the Moment workshop, followed by our network of learning reinforcement options
  • License our intellectual property to build internal support and connect our Untying the Knot approach to coaching with your learning curriculum
  • Train your trainers to deliver our workshops


  • The Coaching in the Moment process is a common sense, easy-to-follow, practical approach to managerial coaching that, when applied consistently, encourages productive manager/employee relationships and fosters an environment of ownership and accountability.

    VP, Human Resources Insurance Company
  • Untying the Knot® is a simple yet powerful model for helping an individual or team uncover their obstacles and move past them. This model is a critical tool for any leader who wants to help others move from average performance into high performance.

  • I use what I learned from Coaching in the Moment with internal clients to explore what beliefs and attitudes they have about their current situation and then use Untying the Knot to help them see underlying issues. This approach has improved how I coach my clients.

    Director of Coaching Aerospace Manufacturer
  • Given a charge to help 'change the culture' in an industry steeped in 'command and control,' Untying the Knot provided our teams with a simple, yet powerful model that built collaboration and teamwork, leading to more productive space for discussing solutions and realizing.

    Organization Development Construction Company
  • Cylient's work with our entire organization provided a great foundation for our Board of Directors and staff to embark on a strategic planning process and open possibilities for our continued success.

    Executive Director Not-For-Profit Services Organization
  • The practical skills learned in our Coaching in the Moment workshop were readily observed in my leadership team. Leaders' interactions around the table were more effective and they readily applied these new skills and insights. It definitely led to higher employee engagement scores.

    VP North American Business Unit Construction Equipment Manufacturer
  • In our business the pace of change continues to accelerate. Coaching in the Moment has really made a difference in our leaders' and managers' ability to create an engaging work environment for our employees and for our business to be successful.

    VP Manufacturing Tire Manufacturing Company
  • Going through the Coaching in the Moment workshop gave my leadership team shared knowledge and language to defuse situations. It helped us to have a higher quality insightful conversations that produced the best team answer rather verbal combat over who had the 'right' answer.

    Global Business Unit Construction Equipment Manufacturer
  • Applying Untying the Knot® within my leadership team unleashed a more insightful and empowering leadership style. Instead of reflexively providing 'management's answers' to issues, leaders asked more probing questions, sought first to understand, which transformed habitual team debate into insight-seeking dialogue.

    North American Business Unit Construction Equipment Manufacturer
  • Cylient's coaching has helped individual leaders and departments address difficult problems with grace and caring.

    Senior University Administrator
  • Our staff has had great feedback, comments and experience already from putting the Coaching in the Moment tools into action. Cylient’s team of facilitators is amazing – and the coaching is life changing. I am looking forward to seeing new dynamics here in our office!

    Vice President of Membership Services Not-For-Profit Services Organization
  • Cylient has provided outstanding MetrixGlobal evaluation services to us for many years. They are very professional, exceedingly knowledgeable, and incredibly responsive. They have become trusted partners.

    President, Corporate University Construction Equipment Manufacturer
  • Leaders at all levels of our organization have gone through the Coaching in the Moment® workshop. I would recommend this workshop to any organization that would like its leaders to be better listeners and coaches.

    VP of Strategy and Quality National Construction Company
  • Cylient's Coaching in the Moment® provides simple, powerful, and practical tools and skills that are extremely valuable for professional coaches and managers alike. Their services also help integrate coaching into the culture to increase organizational – as well as individual – effectiveness.

    Director, Learning & Development Testing Services Organization
  • Cylient helped our team develop insights across functional lines at a time of rapid growth and very limited resources. Cylient opened avenues for us to improve our communications and team effectiveness, which allowed us to move quickly into new areas of high impact business.

    General Manager Health Services Company
  • Coaching in the Moment has provided simple, yet powerful, ways to bring our company vision to life in how we coach our associates and create insight with our customers. The content resonated extremely well within our culture, and is embraced by all who have experienced the workshop.

    SVP & Executive Director, Talent Management Financial Services Corp.
  • The practical, well-researched, real-world examples used in the listening exercises resonated immediately with our team and helped us apply coaching approaches to our everyday issues and challenges. Our teams learned skills that helped our project partners effectively solve their own problems.

    Organization Development Construction Company
  • Coaching in the Moment helped us to transform our manufacturing culture from command and control to empowerment. The practical tools enabled our managers and supervisors to shift their styles to become empowering leaders for our work teams who engaged people at all levels.

    VP, Manufacturing Tire Manufacturing Company
  • Through Cylient's coaching, we were empowered to discover true insights and "gifts" for ourselves through a very personal, values-based partnership. Sustainable, life-altering strategies and techniques were introduced and offered by simply shifting the way we look at a situation. AMAZING.

    SVP, Talent Management and Development Financial Services Corporation
  • Cylient consultants provided our leaders with insightful feedback along with support as they implemented changes, improving their effectiveness as leaders. They enabled good leaders to be great leaders, which provided a competitive advantage to the company.

    VP Human Resources and Communications Food Processing Corporation
  • Coaching in the Moment is different from other coaching programs on the market because it offers one simple integrated model. The methods go far beyond asking good questions to embrace many coaching approaches. This, in my opinion, makes Coaching in the Moment best in class.

    Partner and Executive Coaching Practice Leader Professional Services Firm
  • We partnered with Cylient to introduce Cylient's coaching methodology and the Coaching in the Moment Workshop as a part of our Leadership Development Curriculum, which has been a powerful catalyst for creating a coaching culture.

Organizational Effectiveness Consumer Products Manufacturer
  • The Coaching in the Moment workshop improved communication across the organization, between managers and their direct reports and in group meetings. Managers now step into conversations they would have avoided.

    VP Human Resources and Communications Food Processing Corporation
  • As we updated our corporate strategic plan, we identified leadership development as one of our core strategic initiatives. Engagements with Cylient have helped us to coach our organization leaders for a future full of change.

  • Coaching in the Moment has introduced a different dialogue and a new voice to our organization; one that fosters curiosity, collaboration and an openness that will help us navigate the ever-changing world around us in a newly effective way through enhanced relationships and communication.

    SVP, Talent Management and Development Financial Services Corporation
  • Cylient identified the key skills and behaviors needed for our leaders to engage and inspire their teams. Leaders who embraced coaching approaches were better able to tap into the talents of their teams to drive improved and sustainable results.

    VP Human Resources and Communications Food Processing Corporation