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From Awareness to Action through Self-Coaching

Odds are your organization has sponsored one or more iterations of “diversity training.” It’s a sensitive topic and the impact of the training is often unclear. In many cases, participants are left uncertain how to turn their newly heightened awareness into action.

I’d like to share some thoughts about how organizations can more fully realize the benefits from their investments in DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) training.

Many organizations pursue DEI training with noble intentions around creating workplace cultures where all employees experience psychological safety. They want everyone to feel comfortable being themselves — with no adjustments required to “fit in.” I applaud this pursuit.

The emphasis of such training is often primarily on raising awareness. For example, people are taught to see that implicit bias (I like the term “unintentional bias”) exists in all of us and that bias extends from individuals to the organizational level. They may also start to become aware of ways their own actions and underlying thought patterns may (un)knowingly contribute to the problem. It’s definitely a win!

But it’s only the first step. It doesn’t necessarily lead to taking different actions or creating new habits — real behavioral change. Participants are often left wondering, “how do I go about changing what I am now aware of?”

It turns out that behavior change is a key component of DEI success.* Based on decades of research, Patricia Devine (a psychology professor and the leader of the Prejudice and Intergroup Relations Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison), has determined that “prejudice is a habit that can be broken.”

Self-Coaching Can Help

Shifting entrenched behaviors is difficult — if not impossible — without a roadmap for behavioral change. That’s where an innovative program called Coach Your Self Up comes in.  It teaches participants self-coaching skills, to do the critical “inner” work (on one’s mindset and thought patterns) to make lasting “outer” changes (in behavior). It’s all about behavior change.

Coach Your Self Up may be a perfect partner to DEI training. Now that so many companies have laid the groundwork by raising awareness, I’m excited about the opportunity to help employers provide their employees with self-coaching tools and approaches on “how” to make those individual behavioral changes a reality. It’s not the entire DEI picture, but it’s necessary for a more DEI-forward and self-aware culture.

* For a deeper dive on the importance of behavior change to DEI success, check out this article:  Is This How Discrimination Ends?

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Self-Coaching Gets Everyone Involved

The idea of a coaching culture isn’t new. It’s been a hot topic for many years now, and all evidence points to its continuing adoption by organizations because it leads to higher levels of employee engagement, among other measurable benefits. But officially, the on-the-ground reality hasn’t yet caught up with the big idea.

That’s where an innovative approach called “self-coaching” comes in.

Before diving into that, let’s take a quick look at the state of coaching in organizations.

While more companies are developing coaching cultures, research shows that few can point to a “strong” coaching culture. One reason for this is that most investments are solely focused on leaders and managers. There is little or no coaching-specific training below the manager level — the largest part of the employee population.

The result? A huge gap. Most employees are left behind when it comes to gaining these extraordinarily important workplace….and life…skills.

Admittedly, several forward-thinking companies are experimenting with “scalable” models to make coaching available to employees at all levels. I know firsthand this can work quite well.

Self-coaching is a new impactful approach to further close the gap. By inviting employees at all levels to learn key coaching skills and apply them inwardly, employees can coach themselves anytime, anywhere, and in any situation.

Imagine employees that are more self-sufficient and less dependent on their managers’ ability to coach them. Imagine managers who can more effectively coach employees because they have experienced self-coaching. Imagine the power of having a more self-aware, emotionally intelligent and focused workforce.

Self-coaching also perfectly complements other approaches to scalable coaching — they are able to co-exist within a single organization.

In the coming years, many more companies will embrace the power and cost-effectiveness of self-coaching. A coaching culture needs to include everyone, and learning to become one’s own coach can – and should – be a foundational component.

 

 

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CONTACT US

If you are interested in finding out more information about Coach Your Self Up, please fill out the form or contact Mike Normant directly at mike@mikenormant.com or 415.713.4680.

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