Key definitions – Why cultivating?
Course Content
Principles 2: Stories and good lives
This topic is about the importance of our personal narrative and how to become active authors of this narrative.
Conclusion session: Preparing for take-off
Creating a road map for application of your learning
Cultivating Coaching Cultures
About Lesson

We have spoken of cultivating rather than creating. This is to reflect the core coaching approach that a coaching culture is not something which can simply be implemented by managers but is one in which the organisation works together to encourage and empower.

This cultivation requires the organisation to be willing to shift to a new culture of minimal policing, moving from an ideology of top-down command and control to the ‘new deal of the enabling state’ (8)

“It’s about creating an organisation that identifies success with the ability to learn, adapt and grow through the talents of its people.” (9)

“…the power of the leader-coach, who explores and awakens possibilities rather than offers advice or gives solutions, and thus generates commitment and energy.” (10)

You might also be wondering why you should cultivate a coaching culture in the first place if it means giving away power and control. There are several responses:

  • Is it possible to control other people’s behaviours with any level of effectiveness, economy, or efficiency?
  • We are living in a fast-changing world which requires people who can adapt quickly.
  • When people are engaged, they are more likely to enable their own solutions and take responsibility.
  • Individual creativity can contribute to a more rounded team.
  • “There is also a social change in western societies towards less deference to authority and higher expectations of how individuals are related to at work.” (11)

Yet, more philosophically there is a far more fundamental reason to do with our humanity:

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.” (12)


(8) P.18, Steed in Foreman, Joyce and McMahon (2013)

(9) P.9, Jones and Gorell (2018)

(10) P.28, Steed in Foreman, Joyce and McMahon (2013)

(11) P.13, Hawkins (2012)

(12)  P.65, Covey, S, ‘Forward’ in Pattakos, A (2004), Prisoners of our Thoughts: Viktor Frankl’s Principles for Discovering Meaning in Life. San Fransico: Berrett-Koehler


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