One of the most valuable things to come out of a coaching culture is that the quality of conversations takes a huge and significant upturn.
In an organisation that has embraced coaching as an intrinsic part of the corporate culture conversations take on a new and often surprising significance. They tend to become deeper and more searching; less gossiping and more sharing.
This doesn’t mean that having a chat about last night’s telly is off-limits, it merely means that if someone chats about last night’s telly and their conversation partner discerns something amiss – perhaps just a lower pitched voice; a less vibrant than usual response – theirs is less reluctance to enquire gently about the cause.
In some environments this might be termed emotional intelligence, or emotional acuity, but irrespective of the name you give it, it’s part and parcel of a coaching culture, and should be embraced wholeheartedly.
Conversations that are based on or driven by this kind of acuity can have results that are quite amazing in the effects that follow.
In a coaching culture, people engage in conversations in a totally different way to the kind of casual conversations that happen all around us.
In many, or maybe most such conversations people talk about themselves and their experiences and gossip about third parties (usually not present), then, when the other party is saying their piece (about themselves, their experiences, third parties not present etc.) they nod and mutter the appropriate exclamations, while all the time rehearsing their next newsflash (about themselves, their experiences…etc..)in their heads.
What happens in a coaching-friendly environment is a seismic shift: people ask about the other party, and actually listen to what’s being said in reply. Questions are pertinent, answers to those questions are generally thoughtful, and responses have some weight.
This doesn’t mean that a coaching conversation is all serious and deeply philosophical, it merely means that even a light-hearted and fun conversation has some value beyond the mere trotting out of gossip and chat.
So next time you have a conversation, make it a coaching style conversation; make it a conversation with value.
Make it amazing!