For 20 years, at Open Door we’ve focussed on the vision of: creating workplaces we can all be proud of. Particularly bringing a culture of coaching to our workplace. And to achieve that vision we are surrounded by hundreds of incredible people. Importantly, many of whom have the role of HR leader, L&D leader and People and Culture leader. They are working on a daily basis to champion every-day coaching conversations in the workplace. With a focus on coaching managers to coach via our Leader as Coach and ICF accredited coaching qualifications.
This month we are celebrating Open Door’s 20th birthday. And we present a range of inspirational Coaching Cafes; with a few flashbacks thrown in.
With this in mind, Natalie as she interviews our Resident HR Specialist Paula-Jones Hunt on how HR is leading the way in coaching. Including her role in championing coaching across a range of organisations, from the highly industrial to not-for-profit and indigenous work.
Listen to the Coaching Cafe podcasts
Way back in 2007….
Back in 2007 Bon Jovi (Paula’s favourite person and band) releases the Lost Highway album. And Rhianna releases Umbrella. Sorry we just put ella…ella…ella in your head!
In that year Paula joins our Certificate IV in Workplace and Business Coaching program. And we worked together to introduce the ‘Every Manager is a Coach Program’ at Melbourne Airport. It is a friendship that has endured across organisations to today.
Coaching in heavily unionised workforces
Paula has experience with heavily unionised and industrialised workplaces. In these environments telling and directing is common. So is ‘can’t we just sack them’ statements.
Paula’s interest in coaching was sparked when she realises that the people around her need to change. Particularly with statements like the one above. Interestingly, she linked coaching to sports coaching originally. Because that was something people could relate to. But then she realised coaching is much more than that.
Changing workplaces one coaching question at a time
Paula shares one of her own famous quotes:
‘You can change workplaces, one coaching question at a time’.
That idea of just one coaching question at a time puts change into perspective. It can be overwhelming to try to change a workforce culture. However, the one coaching question at a time approach breaks down the huge vision into actual coaching moment.
HR needs to ‘lead the way in coaching’
Paula talks about HR leading the way with coaching. Importantly, not just leaving the job to L&D. This is important because HR have so many opportunities to talk to people. Particularly managers who come knocking on the door! HR’s role is about helping people build accountability and responsibility. Furthermore, enabling people to find their own way forward. Rather than, ‘Paula told me to do this’.
In addition, role modelling is key. Showing people around you ‘what good coaching looks like’ is a way of influencing. Even if they don’t know they are being influenced.
The importance of getting buy in to coaching
Along with this, we know about the importance of getting buy in to coaching from the upper management. Paula says, that getting that support to introduce coaching is critical at some point in time. But you don’t have to wait.
Linking coaching to HR metrics
Paula also talks about the importance of linking coaching to HR metrics. This ensures the sustainability of any coaching initiatives. Metrics could include:
- Culture or pulse surveys
- Furthermore, number of safety days
- In addition, absenteeism
- Sick leave and compensation claims
- And anything that is important to the organisation at the time.
My greatest coaching moment
It’s so nice to reflect on our great coaching moments. Paula shares that there are many small moments that make you smile. For example, when a manager comes back to you and says, ‘I tried those questions…and it worked’. Or ‘I had you on my shoulder and your voice in my head’ and they achieved a positive outcome. The small moments of celebration are special. Furthermore, reminds you of why the work we do is so important.
Finally for the carers and parents out there, we asked Paula about coaching kids. It’s a topic that she is passionate about. Particularly because we are trying to build great human-beings. Children that can be resilience. Think about their options and decisions. And ultimately be their best.
We are so proud and honoured that Paula is working with Open Door as an integral member of the team. Furthermore, deeply inspired by the way she has made a difference to workplaces for over 20 years.
Every week our team of experts present “Coaching Cafe” webinar with topics for Managers, Leaders, Business Owners, and everyone who wants to be a better workplace coach, leading their teams to higher productivity, better outcomes and a happier, healthier workplace.