We use a lot of different words to represent the physical, emotional, or even the cyber feelings we have when we walk into a room or meet with people around a topic. The best word for describing how people feel when they come into a room or a cyber space is – culture.
Culture is the set of habits and/or feelings that allows a group of people to cooperate by assumption rather than by negotiation. Culture is not what we say, but what we do without asking. A healthy culture allows us to produce something with each other, not in spite of each other. Culture is how a group of people, (or two people in a coaching session), generates something bigger than the sum of the individuals involved.
It is against the law to yell “fire” in a theater. Evidently it is dangerous and hurtful. In a library there is an expectation that, (Shhhh! – No talking), everyone will be quiet. But the culture of quiet at a library is quite different than the culture of quiet in some restaurants, businesses, or a museum. The culture of an amusement park is probably a direct opposite to the culture of that museum. Cultural consistencies in certain types of businesses help reinforce the way things should be done. And while the culture of coaching is established by the relationship between the coach and the client, the coach should not leave too much of what happens in that meeting to chance and consider in advance what is desired in the cyber culture they want to establish.
Consider your living room for a moment. What is the culture of that room? How would a visitor describe what they feel in that space? If Jesus came into your living room would you feel that room is a good place to meet with him? How do you think he would feel about it? Now, how would Jesus feel about meeting you in your cyber room where you coach?
There are two aspects to your coaching culture. One is the feelings that you build for your client. The other is the actual location where you do your business and how it makes you feel.
Establishing your coaching culture begins with how you establish the feeling from your client that there is an opportunity for growth, continuous improvement, a vision for the future, unlimited creativity, and room to explore future realities without an abundance of risk. There is also a synergy as the coach and client work together through a goal or strategy that is designed to help the person or practice. That is the collective and collaborative “dance” in your cyber room that feels safe and open to possibility.
Where and how you establish your coaching space also has an impact. What is the feeling you have when you come into that space? What would that space feel to someone visiting you there? It is amazing how much the culture of that space comes through even when the other person cannot see it. Therefore, consider what is around you and why you have what you have in your coaching space. Make that space a place where it reflects the feelings you would want your client to have if they were sitting in the room with you.
There is a saying that you may or may not have heard, but it is often used in business. “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” When you bring greater clarity to what you want in your cyber culture you will also find your client gaining greater understanding of how you are working to help.
Rich Wiegel, Ed.D, MA, MM
About the Author:
Dr. Rich Weigel has an extensive background in leadership with over twenty years leading school districts. In addition to establishing his new business as an Executive and Leadership coach, he is an adjunct professor for Olivet Nazarene University providing instruction for Strategic Leadership at the doctorate level. He is currently in the process of designing a new course on Business Ethics for students at the master’s level. He will teach that course starting in March.
Rich has been a national trainer for Crucial Conversations, Influencer, and Professional Learning Communities. He is working to gain his CCC certification and is designing a future mastermind class for CCNI called Christian Time Management. He is serving as the President of Christian Coaches Network International for the 2020 year.