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Board Key to Coaching Culture

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Companies are missing out on the full benefits of coaching because senior executives are not leading by example, according to a new study.

The report Embracing High Performance Culture from Full Potential Group, cites a lack of coaching role models at senior levels as the biggest barrier to creating high performance cultures.

According to the study, board members are least exposed to coaching among any employees: 71% of senior managers and 63% of middle managers attend courses and receive coaching, yet only 43% of board members do so.

The report states that this is hampering efforts to create coaching cultures, with lack of skilled role models cited as a barrier to such a culture by 92% of respondents.

Carole Gaskell, CEO of Full Potential, said that leaders have to be strong advocates of creating a high performance culture and fully embrace coaching as part of their own leadership style to gain the maximum benefit.

"It’s great news that middle managers are being exposed to coaching because they’ll take the skills with them as they move up the organisation," Gaskell said. "What’s disappointing is that fewer board members and senior managers are personally benefiting. This is clearly having an impact, with lack of senior role models cited as a major barrier to creating a coaching culture throughout an organisation."

The main reason for using coaching, respondents said, was to upskill and develop people (76%), followed by improving individual performance (49%) and to strategically embed a coaching culture (44%).

Earlier this year Portman Building Society introduced a company-wide coaching initiative, rolled out from the board down, to help it change from being a strong performing to a high performing organisation.

Ann Elliot, HR director at the building society, said it was essential that her organisation’s senior executives were able to act as good role models. "You can’t expect your people to behave in a certain way unless your senior people are leading by example. Our head of retail sales is a great role model who has amazing drive and energises his people to perform in a really positive way."

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