At Coaching4Clergy and Coaching4Today’sLeaders, we spend a lot of time teaching the core competencies and what it takes to be an effective coach.
Beyond that, each coach also has the opportunity to bring the beliefs and principles of coaching into the culture of our workplaces and other communities. Here are some of the most important elements to include:
- There’s greatness in every person. Ben Zander gives every student an A at the beginning of the school year, provided they can tell him who they will have become by the end of the course that will justify that grade. How could this belief of innate greatness show up in the workplace? We would consciously try to draw it out in others, or “turn up the volume” on what’s already there. Acknowledging greatness gives us a richer, fuller take on things. It creates a sense of mutual respect and collective responsibility, and the empowerment to do more of the same.
- We all have something to contribute. Instead of the expert versus non-expert roles we usually use, we look at what the other person is seeing and what they can offer from that perspective. It’s more than just their opinion; it’s their contribution. This makes people responsible for their own work and means the leader doesn’t have to always have the answers. This creates a more collaborative work environment with buy-in and ownership across the board. Plus if everyone is made to feel they have something to contribute, they’ll have more courage to speak up and suggest new, innovative things.
- Questions are more helpful than answers. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it can bring new life to people in the workplace. Instead of quickly assessing or judging something as right or wrong, possible or not, a coaching approach uses questions. In the workplace this allows us to explore new possibilities and build something together that no one person could have come up with on their own.
- Things keep growing. There is no “there” here. Coaching-inspired employees are continuous learners and committed to improvement. They practice apprenticeship, no matter how senior their role. When everyone’s always moving forward, it creates a dynamic environment where continuous learning is a core value.
- There’s a special energy. At some workplace meetings, it’s like things have already been decided before you even get there. In a coaching-inspired workplace, we’re always asking questions because we genuinely want to hear from each other. We expect greatness from ourselves and each other, we’re all looking to grow and improve, and you can feel the possibility in the air.
Do you recognize these qualities in your own workplace? What can you do differently today to express these ideals?