A Coaching Culture

What it is, how to get one and why you would want one!

A coaching culture is where “all members of the organisation fearlessly engage in candid, respectful coaching conversations, unrestricted by reporting relationships, about how they can improve their working relationships and individual and collective work performance”

(Tom Crane, Creating a Coaching Culture)

Let us help you to create, develop and nurture your organisation’s coaching culture


You know you have a coaching culture when

  1. people are able to engage in constructive and positive confrontation
  2. people welcome feedback and actively seek it
  3. coaching is seen as a joint responsibility of managers and their direct reports
  4. there is a good understanding at all levels of what effective developers and developees do
  5. coaching is seen as primarily an opportunity rather than as a remedial intervention
  6. people are recognised and rewarded for their activity in coaching
  7. time for reflection is valued
  8. there are effective mechanisms for identifying and addressing barriers to learning
  9. people look first inside the organisation for their next job
  10. there are strong role models for good coaching practice

       (Based on the work of David Clutterbuck, Creating a Coaching Climate)

Organisations with a coaching culture are places where “not only formal coaching occurs but also where most people use coaching behaviours as a means of managing, influencing and communicating with each other”

(Fiona Edlridge, How to Introduce a Coaching Culture)

For a coaching culture to exist the following need to be true:

  1. the benefits of coaching need to be understood and valued by those at the top of the organisation
  2. coaching needs to be championed by someone on the senior team
  3. coaching needs to be seen as integral to the organisation’s future direction
  4. coaching needs to have a clear methodology and common language across the organisation
  5. the purpose, process and benefits of coaching must be clearly communicated to all
  6. coaching must be embedded in the organisation, its value reflected in the HR processes and its skills revisited and developed on an ongoing basis.


To create a coaching culture you must:

  1. ensure all managers have at least basic coaching skills
  2. provide opportunities to review good coaching practice
  3. recognise and reward managers who demonstrate good coaching behaviour and a commitment to coaching
  4. measure and provide feedback on the quality, relevance and accessibility of coaching
  5. ensure that top management provide strong, positive role models
  6. identify cultural and systems barriers to coaching and deal with them


If there is anything here your organisation needs support with, we will be glad to help

“When you create a culture of coaching, the result may not be directly measurable in dollars. But we have yet to find a company that can’t benefit from more candour, less denial, richer communication, conscious development of talent, and disciplined leaders who show compassion for people”

(Sherman and Freas, Harvard Business Review, 2004)