Earlier, I shared these five important pitfalls to avoid when building a coaching culture in your organisation:

  1. Anti-role modelling
  2. Let’s take it all in-house
  3. Keep it clean
  4. One size fits all
  5. Not every conversation needs to be a coaching conversation

Now that you’re aware of the pitfalls, here is some insight on how to avoid them.

A few years ago, a very successful businessman said, “Don’t be afraid to make intelligent change.” This advice stuck with me and has served me well since. It is great advice when it comes to making maximum positive use of coaching and coaching principles within an organisation. In today’s climate (economic, political, social, environmental), change is inevitable and constant. Being afraid or hesitant to make the necessary changes within an organisation for it to thrive, or even survive, is obviously misguided. However, it’s the intelligent change that I find interesting here…

At what point and in what way do you make change? Do you react? An example of this is when organisations wait until their employees are completely stressed out and disengaged before taking any action and then “send” them to coaching to try and re-motivate them. Do you respond? You notice the early signs of strain. Performance slowly declines and leaders seem overwhelmed with the day-to-day agenda and less able to operate strategically. They are offered coaching to help them refocus and set direction. Or, are you proactive? You recognise the benefits that coaching can bring to your organisation and, rather than wait for problems to arise before introducing coaching, you embrace coaching proactively as a developmental and aspirational tool to help your organisation turn its own aspirations in to reality.

At the end of the day, coaching is going to add value at whatever point you introduce it. However, if you really want to maximise its benefits and fully leverage a return on your investment, or, even more significantly, a return on your expectations, then taking an intelligent approach to change is going to give you the best results. Each step towards building a coaching culture will reap benefits for your organisation. The concept of incrementalism also means that you will soon begin to notice the ripple effect that coaching has throughout your entire infrastructure.

In summary, the first step towards a coaching culture is mindset. In her book “Mindset,” Carol Dweck describes two types of mindset; fixed and growth. Having a growth mindset is what is going to help an organisation towards achievement and success and proactively leveraging coaching is a powerful horse to have in your stable.

To learn more about how to make the best use of coaching in your organisation, sign up for our Coaching Culture Insider. This monthly email provides resources and insider tips from leaders in organisations who have already created successful coaching cultures in addition to information we have learned from work in this field over the past 15 years. We’re here to help you bring coaching into your organisation in a way that truly makes a positive difference through developing a strategy that is just right for you, your people and your business.

Tracy Sinclair, MCC

Tracy Sinclair is a multi-award-winning Master Certified Coach (MCC) with the International Coaching Federation (ICF). She is also a trained Coaching Supervisor, Mentor Coach and ICF Assessor. Tracy trains coaches and works with managers and leaders to develop their coaching capability. She works as an international Corporate Executive and Board Level Coach, a leadership development designer and facilitator working with a wide range of organisations. Tracy also specialises in working with organisations to support them develop coaching culture. Tracy has co-authored a book Becoming a Coach: The Essential ICF Guide published in 2020 which provides a comprehensive guide to coaching for coaches at all levels of skill and experience, the psychology that underpins coaching and the updated ICF Core Competency Model. In this same year she founded Coaching with Conscience which exists to have a positive impact on society and our environment through coaching. As part of this work, she collaborates closely with MIND, the UK’s leading mental health charity and the British Paralympic Association (BPA). She also offers pro bono personal development and coaching programmes to young leaders (18-25-yrs). Tracy was named as one of the Leading Global Coach winners of the Thinkers50 Marshall Goldsmith Awards of 2019 and was a finalist for the Thinkers50 Coaching and Mentoring Award in 2021. She won the ICF Impact Award for Distinguished Coach in 2023 and is a member of the Marshall Goldsmith 100 Coaches. She was the President of the UK ICF from 2013-2014 and was an ICF Global Board Director since 2016, serving as Treasurer in 2017, Global Chair in 2018 and Immediate Past Global Chair in 2019 and Vice Chair and Director at Large on the International Coaching Federation Global Enterprise Board in 2021.

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