Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2017 - 15

BUILDING LEADERS

SAM SHRIVER & MARSHALL GOLDSMITH

CREATING A

COACHING CULTURE

Assume for the sake of example that you
have been put in charge of creating (and
eventually sustaining) an organizational
culture defined by "coaching excellence."
Before you dive in on that assignment,
let's make sure we are aligned on the
definitional anchors.
* Coaching: The art/science of
helping those around you get better
(to include formal management, peer
and upward influence)
* Culture: The natural, normal way
employees at all levels respond
to emergent opportunities and
challenges (i.e., predictable
behavioral patterns)
In full recognition of the complexity and
degree of difficulty associated with this
task, we would like to offer the following
points of consideration.

EXECUTIVE STEWARDSHIP
Regardless of the product your
organization manufactures or the
service it provides, your executive team
needs to publish a compelling vision
and a comprehensive strategy boldly
featuring clear performance goals. A
foundational component of a coaching
culture is that everyone is on the same
page, marching in the same direction,
toward the same flag at the top of the
same mountain.
Effective coaching is anchored by
commonality. The whole notion of
"getting better" needs to be persistently
calibrated by a mutually shared awareness
of the ultimate destination, and a laserlike focus on all the milestones that need
to be accomplished along the way.

EMPLOYEE EMPHASIS
Traditionally, organizations pursue
cultural objectives from the top-down.
Comparatively, we would suggest
active consideration of an all-inclusive
approach that migrates from the
frontline-up. Stated differently, high
levels of employee engagement are
not a by-product of a coaching culture,
they are a prerequisite. Employees
who take charge of their own
engagement can help their managers
deliver coaching that is timely, relevant
and focused on "the flag at the top
of the mountain." Taking charge is
primarily a function of understanding in
combination with transparency.
Imagine how much easier it is to help
someone improve if they provide you
with a detailed analysis of where, and
perhaps why, they are struggling. The
same goes for employees who petition
their managers for increased degrees of
empowerment based on documented

EFFECTIVE COACHING
IS ANCHORED BY
COMMONALITY.
high levels of consistent performance. A
culture defined by coaching will position
employees as the catalysts responsible for
accelerating effective decision making,
development and goal achievement.

MANAGEMENT EXCELLENCE IN ACTION
While a coaching culture is clearly a
function of an inclusive vision that sets
the stage for active engagement, it must
also feature "people managers" who

have mastered the skills of influence and
coaching. In that regard, good coaches
consistently figure out a way to:
* Deliver Results: They understand
"the scoreboard" and are in no way
intimidated by it. They also accept
that the most tangible way to measure
their short-term value is by their
documented ability to orchestrate
organizational wins.
* Drive Motivation and Retention: They
also have a "personal scoreboard" that
extends beyond the organizational
bottom line. In short, they deliver the
what, but truly excel at the how.
So, how do you build or enhance these
skills? By employing a process that
demands focused effort in three highly
interdependent phases:
* Reflection: Effective coaching is a
product of thoughtful consideration.
* Execution: Good coaches consume
relevant data without ignoring their
intuition or managerial instincts.
* Follow-Up: Good coaches also
recognize that what was said during a
coaching discussion wasn't necessarily
what was understood.
Real life examples of leaders who have
established coaching cultures are in
short supply. We would refer you to
anything you can find on either Alan
Mulally or Frances Hesselbein.
Marshall Goldsmith is the world authority
in helping successful leaders get even better.
Sam Shriver is the senior vice president
of commercial operations and product
development at The Center for Leadership
Studies. Email Marshall and Sam.

T R A I N I N G I N DUSTR Y MA GAZ INE - COACHING AND CULTURE 20 1 7 I WWW. T RAI NINGINDU S T RY . C OM/ MAGAZ I NE

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2017

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