22 Coach Culture it’s advising. Coaching is about asking questions without knowing the answer. Are you up for it? Your whole life, you have been paid for the value you bring based on judgment. You went to school, you were trained in this, you know these things, and therefore you can decide what’s best. That’s how you’ve always done it. That’s what you get paid for. But that’s not coaching, and that won’t create a coaching environment. Your whole life, you’ve been rewarded for judgment, and now I’m asking you to suspend judgment altogether. That, I promise you, will be difficult. Our brains are wired, are fighting, to be right. A lot of our ego and self-esteem has to do with being right. But do not confuse a lack of knowing with being wrong. It is not wrong to question with honest curiosity. The average manager has about twelve employees. If you have to be right all of the time, all the answers you provide come from only one brain instead of twelve. You are cutting off a huge opportunity. If your team decides there’s a better solution, you have to be willing to let them try it. You have to be willing to say “What if?” As Coach Ed Nottingham relates “The IQ of a group is always higher than that of an individual. Even an exceptional leader.” I’ve presented the data that shows that companies with a strong coaching culture outperform their peers financially and enjoy stronger employee engagement, higher retention, and higher productivity (see p. 4). I know that isn’t enough for organizations to make the shift because the data still shows that the deterrents for implementing a coaching culture like a lack of time, an inability to measure ROI, and funding are still there. (HCI & ICF). So, continue with me, because in the next section of this book, I’ll introduce the transformation of company cul-
Introduction 23 ture that produces a higher retention and productivity rate. Not only that, but an engaged and excited workforce that is eager to produce new ideas, innovations, and creativity, a less overworked leadership team, with greater accountability and innovation from your subordinates. If you’re ready to question, to explore, to be curious, and take on the mantle of a ‘culture change agent’ so that you can build a coaching culture in your business, then you’re ready to keep reading.