Here are my 5 essential coaching tips that are guaranteed to deliver a winning culture, because let's be honest, less sucky isn't going to cut it in today's climate.
ONE. Replace mandates with invitations.
Collaborative Cultures that have mutual purpose, meaning, and respect trust that employees act in good faith and make decisions about the best use of their time. Mandates infantilize, creating unproductive resentments. Regrets to an invitation is an opportunity to start a meaningful conversation focused on increasing alignment.
TWO. Replace judgment with learning.
As humans, we fear and resist the judgment of others, especially when it is negative. Fear causes us to hide mistakes that are rich learning opportunities. Judgment also limits our perspective to our view of the world. Choosing learning allows us to broaden our thinking, grow capability, and avoid missteps that can put mutual respect at risk.
THREE. Replace telling with listening.
We all like to be right and this causes us to advocate too strongly. If you want to break away from the path and show up as exceptional, choose inquiry. Inquiry is simply asking questions with the sincere intent to understand another's ideas and thinking. It requires curiosity and a commitment to hearing over being heard. It also drives efficiency and effectiveness. Teams that practice inquiry execute swiftly because they achieve true alignment and shared commitment, eliminating the tedious cycle of revisiting and challenging decisions over and over that can delay progress for weeks, months, and even years.
FOUR. Replace feedback with appreciation.
Appreciation differs from feedback in many ways. The intention is more celebratory and affirming. The words tend to be more generous and supportive. The context is less transactional and more relational. The impact is always constructive for the giver and the receiver. Appreciation never expresses anger that can fester into resentment.
FIVE. Replace celebrating heroes with celebrating shared success.
Collaborative cultures recognize the support and partnership that surrounds the success of a single individual. No one operates in a vacuum. In fact, that behavior is in direct conflict with the values and norms of a collaborative culture where mutuality trumps vanity. The victory of one is a victory for all.
Workplace culture is more important than ever because happiness and fulfillment at work is what job seekers expect. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have questions about implementing any of these shifts. I'm always happy to support your success!
NOTE: These 5 coaching tips are extracted from an article authored for the Women in Insurance and Financial Services August 2020 national magazine which can be read in full here.
For several years, I had the privilege of teaching the Organization Behavior course in the McKendree University Louisville campus business school. I always included the Pike's Place Fish Market story when we talked about highly effective organizations, and here's why.
I honestly can't think of many jobs that I would dislike more than working as a fishmonger - the smell, the gore, the pre-dawn start to every workday, the hard labor of setting up the ice displays, and did I mention the smell. And yet, on the brink of bankruptcy, owner John Yokohama and his crew embraced a bold idea - to become world-famous.
Being world-famous wasn't John's master vision that he delivered to his team because he already knew that his top-down, traditional management style wasn't working. Instead, defeated and exhausted, John hired a business coach who showed him how to replace his command-and-control practices with an invitation for employee engagement.
Facilitated by the business coach, Pike's Place Fish Market employees sat together in a meeting room and reimagined their future. The compelling vision to become world-famous and the idea of turning the fish market into an entertainment destination was generated, embraced, implemented, and perfected by the team.
What happened from there not only saved the company with
When John and his team first gathered, I can only imagine that skepticism and distrust were present. Hiring a skilled professional who has the facilitation skills to bridge divides and makes space for every voice is essential to success. It is work to set aside old assumptions and beliefs and redefining relationships. Well-crafted questions, reframing of situations, and gentle reminders to practice new skills accelerate results.
Need help? I'll show you how, just like CEO Tiffany Howard, who recently hired me to help restore the high-performance culture in her organization. Read her review here.