How Smart Leaders Create Thriving Coaching Cultures

Most organizations have a coaching culture. As a leader, the question is what type of coaching culture is yours. Does your coaching culture lean towards a surviving coaching culture or a thriving coaching culture? And how do you know which kind of coaching culture you have and what can you do to help yours become a more thriving coaching culture?

Corporate leaders can affect the successful execution of coaching within their organizations. It’s about what leaders do to create the corporate structure necessary to support a thriving coaching culture.

There are three basic areas leaders can explore to support a thriving coaching culture:

1. Timing of Coaching Sessions

In most organizations, leaders and their teams become conditioned to accept the current coaching time standards as status quo.

Many factors affect what a team comes to accept as their coaching time standards.

For example, these standards can be impacted by individual leaders’ time availability, the scheduling policies of the company, the number of “other” meetings a manager has, the coaching cancellation policy of the division, the busyness of the various seasons, and/or the lack of accountability for coaching.

As a leader, you know you have 2 basic variables regarding the timing of coaching:

  1. The frequency of the coaching sessions – Research indicates there is a minimum frequency of one-on-one coaching sessions that helps the team do better – at least once a week.
  2. The length of the coaching sessions – These coaching sessions often range from 15 to 60 minutes depending on the complexity of the role of the team members and the current skills the team possesses.

2. Priority Given to Coaching

The priority organizations and leaders give to coaching is often demonstrated in the small details.

One of the telltale signs of a leader’s commitment to coaching is whether or not one-on-one coaching is scheduled into every team member’s agenda.

Another indicator of a organization’s coaching health is how far in advance coaching is booked into everyone’s schedule.

An additional indicator that a company makes coaching a priority is when it has a policy of coaching session rescheduling, not cancelling. These small details let the team know their coaching time and their development is a priority.

3. Effective Sales Coaching Systems

It’s not unusual for leaders to have very different perceptions of the time their teams are spending on coaching.

What leaders often think is the percentage time of direct reports are coaching is not the reality. This gap between what is expected and the reality of how much time is spent coaching can range as much as 80% to 20%.

Based on the nature of organizations, what gets systemized is often what gets done. Leaders can help support a system-wide commitment to coaching by clearly communicating the percentages of time they expect leaders to spend engaged in coaching.

If you are a leader trying to decide how to best help your leaders coach more effectively, look more closely at the structure your company uses to determine its coaching timing, priority and systems.

Since coaching has been identified as a significant driver to increased results, it is important for leaders to ensure they create an effective structure to support a thriving coaching culture.