Creating a Coaching Culture

Creating a Coaching Culture
Instructor: Brian Ahearn
Released: 11/2/2023Course Details
Skills Covered
Employee Coaching
Organizational Culture
Course Link
Professional Certifications and Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
To maximize the investment in training and improve employee performance, follow-up is key. Regular coaching is a simple way to connect with employees and increase their productivity, job satisfaction, and engagement.

Join Brian Ahearn for this course, which provides a variety of tools and techniques to build a coaching culture at your organization. Learn what traits you need to develop to be a successful coach, and how to implement methods such as positive intent, timely feedback, and respectful candor. Discover how to address challenges, and explore some more innovative ideas that can expand the possibilities of traditional coaching, including eliminating the annual review and encouraging employees to set both personal and professional goals.

Learning objectives:
– Explain the role of a coach.
– Identify the characteristics of a coaching culture.
– Define the coaching matrix.
– Discuss the importance of trust as the foundation of the coaching relationship.
– Differentiate between wisdom and knowledge.
– Summarize how fear can derail a program.
– Describe the importance of both professional and personal goals in coaching.

Source: LinkedIN Learning
What is a Coaching Culture

What is coaching?

Someone who helps another person get from point A to point B.

Difference between sports coaching and business coaching

  • In sports:
    • Very directive – not uncommon to see a coach shouting out instructions
    • Collaboration isn’t typically part of the sports coaching process
    • Athletes practice far more than they compete
  • In business:
    • Collaboration is key
    • Every day is game day
    • Limited practices – workshop, role play

Business Coaching:
An ongoing process of improving performance and results through timely feedback.

What is culture?

Culture determines the behaviors that lead to success or failure.

Culture -> Beliefs -> Behaviors -> Experiences

Leaders set and enforce policies. Leaders set cultural expectations.

The coaching matrix


  • Shares perspectives on what was done well and what could be improved.
  • Explain why something was important from their point of view.

Examples of Areas of Improvements:

  • Brevity
  • Provide more financial details
  • Eliminate “um”

Image working for an organization which:

  • Value personal and professional growth.
  • Assume the best in others.
  • Recognize how the organization can benefit.
Characteristics of Successful Coaches

Trust is the foundation

“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.” — Stephen Covey

Trust Questions

  • Do you have my back?
  • Will you keep things confidential?
  • Are you a person of your word?
  • Do you have expertise that would be helpful?

Positive intent

Giving Feedback:

  • Helps coworkers grow
  • Benefits the entire organization
  • Makes you feel good

You are in control of your thoughts.

When Receiving Feedback:

  • Believe they want to help you and the organization
  • Express gratitude

Use feedback to do better in the future.

Gatekeepers vs. floodgates

A person who uses his or her knowledge to make others better and more independent.

Benefits of Being a Floodgate

  1. You engage reciprocity.
  2. You create an abundance mentality.

Respectful candor

Candid people are open and honest. Don’t be condescending or demeaning.

Approach #1

  • Offensive
  • The recipient shuts down

Approach #2

  • Respectful
  • The recipient listens

For coaching to be effective, you must show respect to the people you coach.


  • Someone made a poor presentation
  • The person needs to know what made it poor and how to improve.
  • This is a coaching opportunity.
  • Lack of Respect: say a 5th grader could of done better!
  • Respectful candor: explain presentation was not good, you seemed not sure of yourself and appeared not prepared. Let’s schedule time to review how you can do better for future presentations.
Actions of Successful Coaches

Support from the top

Leaders are the primary drivers of culture.

Employees Look At:

  • What Leaders Say
  • What Leaders Do
  • What Leaders Don’t Do

Continuous, timely feedback

Feedback is the heart of coaching. Feedback offers opportunities for change and improvement. Coaching feedback is best when it’s timely.

When Giving Feedback

  • Offer insights for improvements
  • Use your background, experiences and ideas
  • Share with an attitude of positive intent and candor

When Receiving Feedback:

  • Don’t get defensive
  • Embrace the information
  • Give suggestions consideration

Continuous learning

To create a coaching culture, everyone in the organization must be “coachable”.

  • Open-mindedness
  • Good listening skills
  • Curiosity
  • Future focused
  • Desire to excel
  • Embrace relationships

Being coachable


  • Regularly look for common connections
  • Pay attention and offer compliments
  • Get to know your coaches


  • The more you know, the more you can share advice
  • Cultivate a variety of experiences to draw from


  • Apply what you know in new and creative ways
  • Get involved in new activities
  • Take time to self-reflect
Challenges When Building a Coaching Culture

Lack of support from the top


  • Old habits
  • Change is hard
  • Doing fine
  • Competing demands


  • Increase awareness
  • Schedule a specific time to coach
  • Build the case for change
  • Reframe the time needed as an investment

The boss isn’t coaching

What if your manager isn’t coaching?

Three Things To Do:

  • Talk about your needs and expectations
  • Seek out other coaches
  • Find a mentor

Keep your boss informed of any outside coaches or mentors you engage with. Explain how you are applying what you learned.

Coaching the uncoachable

“Coaching is for problem employees.” : Coaching might have a negative perception, being associated with problem employees.

  • Demonstrate the importance for all employees
  • Coach successful individuals

“I know my job better than my boss.”

  • Acknowledge their expertise
  • Share your coaching goals
  • Encourage a growth mindset

“I’m too busy.”

  • Help them understand the value of coaching

“This is a waste of time”

  • Make your coaching sessions valuable
  • Have an attitude of helpfulness
  • Ask good questions
Ideas to Try

Keeping track of coaching discussions


  • Stop
  • Tone
  • Ask
  • Restate
  • Scribble

Benefits of Coachee Taking Notes:

  • Documents key takeaways from the session
  • Demonstrates commitment

Benefits of Coach Taking Notes:

  • Reinforces what you saw as most important
  • Documents observations that improve communication
  • Strengthens commitment to take action on next steps

Focus on listening.

Avoiding the year-end review

Recency Bias
Placing too much importance on what comes to mind easily and recently.

To overcome recency bias, you can ask your team to provide to you a list every Friday of:

  • Top accomplishments
  • #1 challenge
  • Priorities for the upcoming week
  • Accomplishments – opportunity to brag a little about what was completed during the week. Employees feel better about themselves when they see what was accomplished.
  • Challenges – things getting in the employees way and determine how they will resolve the challenge without the coach resolving it for them.
  • Priorities – ensure employees are focusing their time on the right items.

Professional and personal goals

A Coach’s Goal

  • Help employees perform to their job potential
  • Take time to get to know those you coach on a personal level

The cadence of coaching conversations

  • Plan your coaching first, then plan your work.
  • Balance your organization’s expectations with what’s needed.
  • Consider the coachee’s needs and goals.
  • Be flexible on your availability to encourage reciprocity.
  • Dedicate the time needed and view your effort as an investment.
To experience the full benefit of this guide, I highly recommend you watch the full training session.

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