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Corporate Ailments – This is Why it Hurts

Updated: May 21, 2020

This is the second article in our series on Creating a Coaching Culture. This series of articles is primarily focused at HR and Development professionals wanting to transform the culture of their organisation and are seeing the potential of embedding coaching abilities within their organisation to achieve these goals. In this series, we’ll hear from professionals in the region and learn from their experience, struggles and successes.

Following the overview article, today we’re taking a frank look at the status quo – business as usual. We’ll be peeling back the plaster of the smiling 30 second elevator pitch and looking at some of the lack of health that can, and often does, exist under the surface of our organisations. As Jim Collins, author of “Good To Great” would have us do, we’ll, “confront the brutal facts,” to see the full impact of what is happening in our places of work.

Later in this article we will be referring you to our “Coaching Culture Canvas” tool. You can download your copy here. Today we’re focusing on the section titled, “Realise.”

Current Cultures

In reaching out to the wider community, we heard from managers and directors and as we listened we noticed patterns. Very similar things were being said, across the board and irrespective of sector or industry.

Things like the following:

  • There are relational gaps and a lack of trust between managers and staff.

  • Line managers avoid their responsibility to coach and develop their staff.

  • There’s a lack of accountability by leaders for their own growth and an absence of self-directed learning.

  • Performance management is very “dry” with a lack of effective feedback

  • Managers are good at giving instructions, but poor at having performance management conversations. They struggle to help people grow into roles.

  • Difficult conversations are happening too little, poorly and too late.

  • Managers have mindset barriers about developing talent.

  • A lack of understanding of the good that coaching can do.

  • A lack of qualified staff to take the job of coaching to the next level.

  • Leaders see feedback as coaching and employees therefore do not see coaching as a positive thing.

Sarah Siddique, Head of Learning at Aggreko in Dubai let us know that she has seen that, “Development is often seen as only classroom or e-learning. Managers have tick-box development conversations because there is a lack of clarity in leaders about how to have development conversation. Their approach is ‘tell’, very little ‘ask’.” We were later to learn about some of the positive strides that Aggreko are taking in moving this forward.

Add to this the very real and current issues of talent retention, squeezed profit and environments of blame, where people find it difficult to share their opinions and ideas, and we have a picture of business that seems quite bleak.

There is hope however…

A growing number of companies are making headway with establishing a culture that takes coaching practices to heart and are reaping the benefits. Be sure to join us next week as we look at what a coaching culture really looks like and what’s possible when an organisation has one.

Your Coaching Cultures Canvas

Go to your Coaching Culture Canvas.

In the Realise section, consider the following questions and note down your thoughts.

  • What relational hurts are currently existing in my organisation?

  • What behaviours are exhibited by these hurts?

  • Where do I see this happening most?

  • What is the impact of these behaviours? On people, on performance on the business as a whole?


The next article will be discussing what it’s like when you have a coaching culture and what’s possible when you do.


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