One of the signs of a coaching culture in a team is when everyone is comfortable with being coached by everyone else. A tipping point in achieving a coaching culture is when the team leader is happy to be coached by direct reports. A five-stage approach can be helpful here:
- The team leader is coached by the team coach
- The coach invites the team leader to practice coaching them, and gives feedback at intervals on how this feels – a sort of reverse coaching
- The coach observes and supports the team leader as they coach a direct report. All three subsequently discuss the experience. This element can be repeated with everyone in the team
- The team leader invites one of the team members to coach them in a meeting together, again with the team coach present to offer support as needed.
- The whole team explore together how they will make coaching conversations a normal part of their regular interactions.
This is a gradual process of confidence building for both the leader and the team. It cultivates vulnerability, which is essential for psychological safety.
© David Clutterbuck 2023