Perspectives - Ken Taylor

This edition of our magazine explores a couple of key concepts dogging many in our industry: the role of L&D in culture change and the role of the manager as a change coach. This brings to light a needed shift in skills we foster in leaders at all levels of the organization. This takes us beyond classic management responsibilities to enablement responsibilities. How does being a coach – an enabler – help to drive a learning culture?

It starts with your management team truly understanding the goals of the organization and how his or her department affects the company’s success surrounding these goals. Next, we must incorporate coaching skills into the development of our leaders, such as those suggested by The Forbes Coaches Council.

Of the 10 coaching skills suggested in this article, I was particularly interested in the application of two of their recommendations: “Practicing Involved Detachment” and “Remaining Curious.” This notion of the enabler relies on the leader’s ability to be visibly and emotionally engaged while also withholding judgement or simply providing an answer. Similarly, remaining curious also requires leaders to park or hold back our judgement tendency, allowing those we coach to continue to develop on all ideas they have around a given topic.  This desire to avoid judgement is tough for many leaders simply because they must fight their natural tendencies and current responsibilities as a leader. The trick is figuring out when to interject. This journey from manager to enabler is one many in training and development have on their radar screen as key to improving businesses performance.

This issue of Training Industry Magazine touches on the role of coach and when it intersects with leadership in a variety of areas in a company. I suggest throughout the read, look for best practices and find the pieces that will apply to your area of responsibility, even if they were positioned in the article as supporting other parts of the organization. Coaching skills that will transform managers to enablers must become part of the DNA of current and future leadership if you truly want to impact your organizational culture, moving it from wherever you are today toward higher performance.

As always, we would love to hear your thoughts about the point of views shared in the magazine.