Start with an assumption: you want more coaching in your company. Maybe you are just getting started and want to do more than hang on until “coaching” catches on. Maybe you want to find those pockets of resistance. Maybe you are tired of the snickers and snide comments from unbelievers who haven’t bothered to discover what coaching has to offer. Now is the time to do some stealth branding.
Follow with a confession: I am not a marketer and I certainly can’t teach anyone about branding. However, I do know branding when I see it. Branding is what sets you apart. It’s your difference; your uniqueness. Now is the time to start introducing (by stealth) some branding elements to introducing a bit of change in the culture.
Here are seven easy ideas to start changing your culture. They are small ideas that when consistently pressed, will get people talking and thinking differently.
1. Change the language. Start to introduce some coaching language into the company. As the language shifts, the thought patterns tend to shift as well.
When someone comes to you and asks for help, reply by asking, “How can I support you?” The shift from help to support introduces independence rather than dependence.
Descriptive words and phrase will come to you as you get started. Maybe a phrase jumps out at you from a coaching book or a class. Claim it, own it, and use it religiously.
2. Answer with questions rather than statements (thoughtful questions prompt better thoughts and promote independence). What have you done so far? What gets you excellence? What’s stopping you? What’s your breakthrough idea?
3. Work from a model. When setting a goal, set a SMART goal. Push others to do the same. Broader coaching models work well for problem solving situations. Sir James Whitmore in Coaching for Performance introduces the GROW model (goal, reality, options, will). At Ultimate coach University, we teach a model called CDDC (connect, discover, design, commit).
4. Tell your Story. As anyone in sales will tell, you, “facts tell, stories sell.” Use your personal narrative to show your results. You can give more vivid details about your life than anything else.
5. Find a metric. Discover the one thing that your coaching seems to influence and measure it. Retention? (HINT: retention is almost always improved.) Personal performance? Team building? Manager development? Sales? Recruiting?
6. Gather love hugs. As you coaching and use coaching in your other activities, your team will start to appreciate your effort. They will share their hugs. You can share them, too. Put them on your white board. Add them to the bottom of your newsletter. Ask them to say something in public. Love hugs are the start of gaining momentum. Let the MO flow!
7. Shrug away resistance. You know you have a great idea. Would you want to be ignored or resisted? What are you worried about? When the resistance starts to show, just smile cryptically and go about your business. Your detractors will be curious and their curiosity will lead them into the change.
What do you think? Are their simplere ideas that come to mind? Please share.