It’s long been known to psychologists that there is a tendency for people who hold positions of influence in an organisation to resist new ideas or radical change.
Adopting a new culture of communication and openness within a business or organisation is most definitely a radical change and a new idea for many, so it follows that within many organisations there will be people who will actively resist coaching as a universal opportunity within the whole community.
In some cases they might be happy to have coaching themselves, or for a particular group of people (directors, upper management, troublemakers, whatever), but will see an adoption of a coaching culture in a very different light. There will be some great excuses, (cost, disruption, etc.) and maybe some posturing “(I think it’s a great idea, but I just can’t see the staff accepting it”; “I’m all for it, as long as it’s not going to get in the way”) and other ‘Yes, but…’ sort of comments.
Whatever reasons or rationale offered by the resistors of change, there is no point in either running roughshod over them - adopting the coaching model anyway, nor is there much mileage in trying to get them to see your side of the argument. They will generally become more and more entrenched, and the results will be disappointing.
Perhaps a better way is to sneak up on them.
Take a few individuals from within the organisation – from all levels if possible – who are keen to try coaching or who are already aware of it and would like to learn more. Engage them in a mix of coach training and co-coaching until they feel they are ready to try it out for real. Then send them back into the workplace to put their training into practice.
This kind of viral introduction of coaching into an organisation won’t suit everyone, or won’t be something that every company could adopt, but if the circumstances are right, and the resistance is proving difficult to overcome then this might just be your best route to the positive results that a coaching culture can bring.