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professional standards, address key strategic goals, and shape organisational culture.

Creating a coaching culture

Te benefits of coaching are not confined to large, corporate entities with the human and financial capital to undertake such an endeavour. Any organisation can instil a coaching cul- ture to support employees in achieving their short- and long-term goals. For instance, coaching can make

a pivotal difference in not-for-profit organisations. Beyond Emancipation (B:E) is a not-for-profit human services provider in Alameda County, California, that serves clients via an innovative, social-justice oriented direct service model with coaching at its heart. In response to insufficient

traditional models for working with soon-to-be and recently emancipated foster youth, B:E turned to coaching, integrating it into all direct services. Modalities include traditional one-on- one coaching to help youngsters set goals, be accountable to those goals and build their confidence; group coaching to support youth development, skill building and relational capacity; and crisis-informed coaching to help those youths experiencing crisis to focus on immediate solutions and begin long-term goal-setting. Internally, B:E created a strong

coaching culture where all employees have access to coaching from a profes- sional coach practitioner, and coaching skills training is a component of every B:E employee’s onboarding process. Tis has decreased burnout (an issue that’s endemic among social services professionals in direct service roles), reduced siloing, and increased creativity and cross-pollination between teams. A coaching mindset has trans-

formed the team’s approach to strategic planning by empowering staff to think outside the box. Most importantly, the strong coaching culture enables people to show up authentically and holistically in the workplace, leading to greater overall satisfaction and efficacy. In recognition of B:E’s commit-

ment to creating a coaching culture for its clients and employees, the ICF awarded the organisation an honoura- ble mention in the 2016 International Prism Award programme.

Incorporating coaching skills into management and leadership

A growing number of organisations are moving away from traditional modes of leading and managing, and so training and development is favouring the building of coaching cultures. Organ- isations with strong coaching cultures offer employees at all levels the oppor- tunity to enhance their performance and achieve their professional goals. Organisations with robust coaching

cultures aren’t just leveraging external and internal coach practitioners. Managers and leaders who are trained to use coaching knowledge, approaches and skills with their colleagues and subordinates represent a critical

organisations). Tey also report recent revenue above their industry peer group (51 per cent of organisations, compared to 38 per cent of organisations without strong coaching cultures). Top reasons respondents cited for managers/ leaders to use coaching skills included enhancing performance, enhancing professional growth and building trust. Managers and leaders using coach-

ing skills leverage these skills equally as often during performance review sessions and employee development conversations. Topics in these coaching conversations can include: career aspi- rations or career pathing, skill-focused development, confidence building, communication skill building, and a review of their performance to date. Organisational coaching pro-

A coaching mindset has transformed the B:E team’s approach to strategic planning by empowering staff to think outside the box

modality to a coaching-oriented talent management strategy. Te 2016 ICF Global Coaching

Study also sought to understand this trend. For that reason, the scope of the survey was widened to include managers and leaders who use coaching skills: that is managers or leaders who use coaching knowledge, approaches and skills to create awareness and support behaviour change within their organisations. Among those respondents who self-identified as managers/leaders using coaching skills, 54 per cent described themselves as managers and leaders within their organisations; the remaining 46 per cent said they use coaching skills in their roles as human resources or talent development managers or directors. In 2016 the Human Capital Institute and ICF explored this with an in-depth study, Building a Coaching Culture with Managers and Leaders.2 According to the 2016 HCI/ICF study, organisations with strong coaching cultures report higher employee engagement (62 per cent of employees rated as highly engaged compared to 50 per cent of other responding

grammes can include internal coach practitioners, external coach practition- ers, managers/leaders using coaching skills, or a combination of all three modalities. (It’s worth noting that ICF research3

shows a correlation between

the use of all three modalities in com- bination and strong coaching cultures.) To succeed, strive to include

accredited coaches whose knowledge, skill, and commitment are held to the highest ethical and professional standards, and invest in coaching skills training and continuous professional development opportu- nities for managers and leaders. It’s also important to ensure that

there are champions for coaching at the highest levels of the organisation so its strategic importance is valued. As the role of coaching in the

workplace continues to evolve, more organisations are experiencing the benefits that coaching creates for their people and their bottom line. Take note of the many different forms and functions, and apply what works best for your professionals and place of business.

Magdalena Mook is CEO and executive director of the International Coach Federation (ICF). Contact her at or on Twitter @ICHQ

References 1 2 3 Ibid

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