top of page

Constructing Coaching Culture- Improving Business Performance

Implementing coaching into your workplace is one of the top methods recommended by business performance consultants in order to help develop skilful employees with high-performance levels. Coaching can largely change and drive your organisation to the next level if you are willing to take the time to learn and apply the different methods. This article will hopefully teach you how to construct a coaching culture within your workplace as well as all the benefits that come with it.

Firstly, what is coaching in the workplace? Coaching is usually a practice that takes place in a one-to-one session between coach and coachee, much like the coaches professional athletes have. Although in a workplace setting, coaching activities have both organisational and individual goals and is a skilled activity, which should be delivered by people who are trained to do so. This can be line managers and others trained in coaching skills. Similarly to athlete coaching, It focuses on improving performance as well as developing an individual to their best potential and essentially is a non-directive form of development which means the coach refrains from interpretation or explanation but encourages the coachee to talk freely. At times coaching can happen naturally as it is a slightly common leadership style that is always extremely beneficial to the employees.

There are multiple types of coaching styles that will work differently in each workplace, it’s important to explore them first in order to know the best ways in which to implement them into your workplace teams. There are usually two main types that then each have subgroups, these two types are executive coaching and team coaching. Executive coaching generally occurs when higher roles are being given, when there are noticeable performance issues or to better current business strategies. Team coaching more commonly occurs when there are internal performance issues present and the organisation leaders or managers can take the role of the coach in these situations if they have the correct training and experience to do so.

Humanist Coaching

Psycnet tells us that “Humanistic coaching can be defined as the application of the principles of humanistic psychology to the practice of coaching” due to the primary goals of coaching aligning closely with the goals of humanistic psychology. Both are based on every person's ability to learn, grow and develop in order to reach their best possible performance levels. Humanist coaching focuses greatly on the ideas of self-actualisation, relying heavily on the relationship formed between the coach and coachee. This style of coaching does tend to be considered a more therapy-orientated outlook and so it is very successful when being used with new, unconfident leaders.

Cognitive Coaching

The cognitive coaching method focuses on three main goals which are trust, learning and autonomy. The goal of the trust is to create an environment where both coach and coachee trust in the process, trust in each other and also trust in their environment in order to create a non-threatening relationship and grow intellectually together. The goal of learning is to ultimately improve performance whilst enhancing perceptions to avoid the negatives of the perception gaps, all learning requires engagement and therefore coaches will be skilled in engaging their clients' intellect to maintain access to their cognitive functions. The third goal, developing cognitive autonomy, is the practice of giving the coachee the tools in order to self-analyse, self-monitor, and self evaluate. Specific objectives are given pre-conference and post-conference, some refer to this as the mental coaching map.

Systemic Coaching

Defined by John Whittington, systemic coaching is an approach which “coaches the individual client or team with the system in mind—exploring the part in the whole, and the whole in the part—so as to unlock the potential and performance of both.” This coaching style is rooted in the systems theory which is focused on the connections between elements. Systemic coaching usually prioritises the goal of broadening our perspectives by encouraging the coachee to look deeply into their team, environment overall work, and any factors that may impact on performance.

When implementing a coaching culture into your workplace, one of the first things you will want to do is give all managers the tools needed to be able to coach a team themselves. With these skills, every conversation between manager and employee is will have maximised value which creates more actively helpful conversations, comfortable employees who feel heard and seen as well as an overall better performing team. The three key factors a manager would need to learn in order to be a good coach are active listening, asking the correct coaching questions and setting attainable yet boundary-pushing goals. Active listening is the practice of preparing to listen, hearing not only the verbal but also non-verbal messages that are being sent and then providing constructive feedback in order to show you were actively listening to improve mutual understanding. This is done through paying attention to facial expressions, tone of voice, body language and gestures, these are all useful indicators that can often go unnoticed which can cause misunderstandings in some cases.

What are the correct coaching questions? Technically, there is no right or wrong when asking a question, but there are better and worse ones and there are four guidelines to help you construct the “correct coaching questions” firstly you will want to ask open-ended questions, this means avoiding a question than can be answered in one word and with “yes” or “no”. Better constructed questions engage employees well and can create more of a conversational type meeting rather than question and answer type. To do this, ask questions that begin with “what” “where” “when” or “why” but be sure the language you use doesn't come off as confrontational, for example bluntly asking “why are you struggling” comes across very negatively compared to “what challenges are you currently facing”. The third key factor to coaching, goal setting, is a topic we often discuss alongside feedback sessions as they are a great way to plot progress and motivate employees to perform at their best to reach these goals. In order to have effective goal setting, the managers will need to be aware of how to help others identify those goals and also set them on the right path to be able to achieve them. It’s important they always consider how an employee is supposed to achieve their goal and communicate that effectively, coaching managers should automatically be considering what habits do they need to outgrow? Or what will their biggest obstacle be and how can they overcome it?

Giving every manager the tools to become a good coaching leader could be difficult, when creating a coaching culture do not be afraid to hire a coach to come to help your organisation develop into its newly wanted culture. Change is an unpredictable factor and some will find it easier than others, but the benefits will outweigh the possible challenges of constructing a coaching culture. Coaching leads to an 88% increase in workplace productivity which produces great performance and results whilst also empowering employees and encouraging them to take responsibility.


The Modern Mind Group are emotioneering human performance not engineering it.

As people operations and performance consultants, we work with your business to identify and improve performance gaps so that you can be more profitable and professionally develop your people. Over 12 years of expertise in people operations and performance with results to back it all up. Why settle for the average when there is a world of possibility when you know how to achieve it? Untapped potential - Let's go get it!


bottom of page