Ep 170: Strategies for Building a Coaching Culture from Jo Wright

In this episode of Bridging the Gap, Matt Reiner engages with Jo Wright, a distinguished coach and author, to explore the transformative power of creating space and learning to say no. Jo shares her insights on how these practices can lead to significant growth by investing in people and fostering a coaching culture. She stresses the importance of leaders evolving from task-oriented roles to relationship-focused figures by asking open-ended questions, building trust, and empowering their teams to take ownership of solutions. This shift, she argues, is crucial for creating a thriving workplace environment.

Jo Wright recommends two pivotal books for understanding and implementing coaching principles: “The Coaching Habit” by Michael Bungay Stanier and “Life in Half a Second” by Matthew Michael Wicks. These books offer practical wisdom on coaching and personal growth. Jo also shares her journey from university to a career in coaching, emphasizing the value of focusing on people, building strong relationships, and maintaining a sense of curiosity. She addresses common misconceptions about coaching, such as its perceived expense, elitism, and the notion that it is not a manager’s job, advocating for coaching to be accessible to all organizational levels.

Key takeaways from the conversation include the need for leaders to invest in themselves and their teams by creating space for coaching and prioritizing essential tasks. Adopting a coaching mindset is essential, which involves asking open-ended questions and fostering an environment where employees feel safe and motivated to take ownership. Lastly, building trust through intentionality and authentic leadership is crucial, as it encourages honest feedback and supports a culture where individuals feel valued and driven to excel.  

Timestamps From This Episode
[12:56] Jo finds it puzzling that coaching is often viewed in a negative light, despite considering it to be a lifelong and beneficial pursuit for everyone. Jo and Matt question why coaching is seen as a negative word and attribute it to the perception that coaching is only for inexperienced individuals while managing is viewed more positively.
[16:30] Coaching emphasizes curiosity and ownership through questioning and empowerment. Struggle exists in finding balance between flexibility and execution when working towards goals and metrics.
[27:10] Key coach skills: teaching, curiosity, relationships, inspiration.
[28:57] Leaders inspire confidence, growth, and belief in their teams through coaching. Helping individuals see their potential and building optimism is crucial for unlocking their full potential. Leaders should focus on helping their teams see it in themselves and others.
[33:18] Positive relationships with great coaches drive success. Nurturing a coaching culture with diverse personalities.
[40:09] Creating high-performance organizations through a coaching culture involves fostering trust, high standards, and leadership development. The best organizations prioritize their teams’ growth, even if they don’t explicitly label it as a coaching culture. On the other hand, those focused solely on tasks risk falling behind. Embracing coaching allows for the magic of growth amidst the rush of daily tasks.

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Bridging the Gap is a financial podcast hosted by CEO Matt Reiner focused on bringing together leaders from the finance and the technology industries to focus on innovating the financial services industry.