Are We Speaking the Same Language

It may seem unusual to hear an Executive Coach describe ‘coaching’ as a dirty word but time after time I’ve found that often the first step towards implementing an effective coaching programme into an organisation is to tackle the negative perceptions of ‘coaching’ that your stakeholders’ may be holding onto.


In a recent webinar, I conducted a survey where I asked over 100 senior HR and L&D professionals from large corporate organisations to describe how their leadership would answer the question ‘What is coaching?’ The results may surprise you.

Only 23% of people answered that it was ‘a part of their manager or leader’s natural style’.  A whopping 30% considered it to be ‘a remedial process or something that would be leveraged to correct negative performance’. This is the same perception of coaching that we’re often encountering - an improvement program for a select individual. Coaching as a natural leadership style is oft overlooked.


When you attempt to bring coaching to a company, you first need to gain clarity and align your aims with those of the leadership team through the development of a common language. There’s absolutely no need to be precious over the word ‘coaching’; you can adapt your language to better explain your intentions and to help these programmes land soundly within your organisation. It’s difficult to promote coaching as a leadership style without being able to pinpoint the exact improvements it’s intended to bring about. We need to present senior leaders with outcomes in concrete terms.


You need your language to reflect their needs; let’s talk about the tracking and measurement of successes, let’s talk about the ROI and productivity. A recent programme we conducted, named ‘Gravitas’ to help it land with the company’s stakeholders, resulted in a contract win of $2 Million that could be tracked directly back to the course we ran. That’s the kind of ROI that can easily get your senior stakeholders salivating over the prospects of these programmes!


One of the most effective ways to utilise coaching is as the recognised internal leadership style by building an internal coaching culture whereby you train your leaders with the necessary skills to coach their peers and direct reports. This will develop a self-sufficient culture where the benefits of coaching are internalised into the day-to-day functioning of the company without the need for outside reinforcement.


Give us a call today on 01926 889 885 to find out how we can help you develop an internal coaching culture or click here to find out more about our programmes.

Kind regards

Laura Ashley-Timms - Director of Coaching