What does a coaching culture really look like?


A man walks into his workplace. He swipes his ID and heads for the lift. When it arrives, he boards and presses the button for his floor. When the lift reaches the appropriate level he steps out, turns along the corridor and enters an open plan office. HE walks to his desk, sits down and fires up his computer ready for a day’s work.

What is wrong with this picture?

How about this:

A man walks into his workplace, smiles and says ‘Hi’ to the receptionist, swipes his ID and heads for the lifts. When the car arrives, he ushers a couple of other workers in before him, steps in and asks who needs what floor. He pushes the relevant buttons and passes a comment or two about the weather, traffic, whatever with his companions. When the lift stops at his floor he gets out, smiling to a couple fo other people as he does, and walks along the corridor to an open plan office. He walks through the office sharing a greeting with one or two people. He stops at a desk and says something like ‘Do you want to have that coffee later? A quick chat? Let’s say 10.30. I’ll come and get you.’ He walks to his desk, fires up his computer ready for a day’s work.

Which scenario would you prefer to occupy?

Some people – maybe as many as a quarter of people reading this will prefer the first.

Which leaves something like 75% or more who would prefer to inhabit the second.

It might be that some of those who like the sound of the first are actually shy, and don’t like to interact too much with people they don’t know well.

Or they may just be quiet industrious types who think that hard work is about being focussed on the tasks at hand to the exclusion of all else.

Or they might just work in an organisation that frowns on social interaction and drives its people hard.

For the rest of us, the second illustration is a demonstration of someone living and working with a mindset that lends itself to a coaching culture, and very possibly within a coaching culture. A culture that encourages interaction, develops creativity, engages the whole person rather than just the ‘work’ module of the brain.

I think that, given the choice, quite a few of that 25% might jump ship and join the rest of us in a more pleasant and productive workplace.


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 Caitlin has made a real difference to my confidence and to the way I approach my business on a day to day basis.
John Baker, Regional Director, The Jockey Club
 It (coaching) unearthed a depth of confidence that I was beginning to question and enabled me to make a significant change within myself and my work.
Luke Joy-Smith, Managing Director - Somerset Social Enterprise
 I connected with my coach on our very first call and I believe that made the whole difference for me. I wish I could dig deeper on some of my remaining issues but unfortunately all good things have to end. I will definitely recommend coaching and have been already doing it for while. It definitely changed my life.
Stephanie Malka, Director NOC Service Engineering – EMEA
 Great to see that there has been a positive outcome from this.
Simon Gosney, Head of Learning and Development
 Tim has provided some high quality coaching support to me through a time of transition both in terms of job, career and organisational changes. He is a skilled and experienced executive coach who facilitated just the right mix of reflection, future visioning, challenge, compassion and stretch. I’d strongly recommend working with him if you are going through a career or organisation transition. Fun to work with, I always left my sessions with him feeling significantly clearer and more content with my overall direction of travel and next steps.
Neil Savage, Director of Organisational Development 2gether NHS Foundation Trust
 “I selected my coach on the basis that she had a completely different approach to my structured way of thinking. Katherine challenged me and took me way out of my comfort zone – scary and uncomfortable at times but eye-opening. These coaching sessions enabled me to see things from a very different perspective, gave me the time and space to reflect on my practice and provided practical tips and approaches as to how I can develop my performance.”
Zenobia Daar, Head of People, Governance & Performance
 Please continue with the programme. For a guy, like Paul, who does not use the word 'fantastic', who then uses it..it must be really good!
Marissa Bartlett, Head of Organisational Development - Mid Sussex District Council
 Everyone learnt a lot about themselves and others. It was the first training in English that one of my mentors had done and it was really successful for him. We have all come away feeling more confident. I have been on many development programmes and I have to say it has been one of the best I have ever attended.
Radka Lankasova, HR Manager, DENSO MANUFACTURING CZECH s. r. o.
 Steve Delivered a professional, relaxed and engaging session. Relevance, interest and clarity of delivering allowed for a very productive outcome.
Andy Castle, VP of Network Operations and Engineering, EMEA
 I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with Steve. He encouraged me to look at how I view myself and my actions, to actively seek positive outcomes to every day situations. My perception of myself has certainly changed due to my conversations with Steve and I would highly recommend coaching sessions with Unlimited Potential.
Rik Roberts, Team Leader