How Families and Organizations are Alike
What comes next at Olde Vechte?
How Families and Organizations are Alike
What comes next at Olde Vechte?
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Coaching culture for growth

Most of the therapeutic moments happen outside of the therapy session, in the community, in intimate relationships, in generous friendships, and in nature. At least, this is what I like to believe.

The same applies to coaching, as someone can change your state, bring clarity, enlarge your perspective, and ask coaching questions during a simple conversation. Imagine if we could all take turns being coaches for each other, able to listen without judgment, withdraw our personal agendas, be sensitive to the present moment, and dare to ask coaching questions.

How could this diffuse inner conflicts, restore the flow of relationships, or build healthier organizations? How could it serve all of us?

Here is a beautiful example of how a coaching culture supported growth on both the individual and organizational levels in a language school.


Meet George and Alice, partners and owners of a language school for kids and adults. They started with a small business almost 20 years ago and gradually grew it to accommodate hundreds of students. From the beginning, their intention was to offer more than just education.

George and Alice continued to educate themselves as teachers, school directors, and managers, while also seeking personal growth. Whenever they came across something meaningful, they immediately shared it within the organization through training courses.

However, despite the abundance of knowledge, persistent patterns continued to exist in the organization, such as conflicts between teachers and management, teachers and parents, and even among students. No matter how much focus was put on employee learning and development, certain things remained unchanged.

Upon encountering various coaching methods, George and Alice started applying them in conversations, both in one-on-one settings and group meetings. Every invitation or question would be introduced with the phrase, “Would you like to try something?” and people started to open up. It wasn’t about using the right technique or asking clever questions; it was more about cultivating a considerate attitude.

Here are a few instances that highlight the power of coaching conversations:

  1. During a meeting with one of the managers, I, as part of the team, shared how triggered I was by a colleague’s behavior. Alice suggested trying a short moment of inner dialogue between parts of me that have different reactions to that colleague. In just 10 minutes, the inner conflicts were dissolved, and I was able to move forward.
  2. Another time, during a team meeting, two colleagues encountered difficulties in working together. Alice invited them to explore different layers of their relationship using the scarf metaphor. Each colored scarf represented a type of relationship between them (friendship, colleague, coordination, etc.). It helped them identify which relationship type their problem belonged to and how mixing them up was blocking their collaboration in general.

These kinds of invitations were consistently made, initially by George and Alice, but gradually other people began to formulate them as well.

  1. Teachers started coaching each other at the end of lessons, going beyond discussing what went well or wrong to navigate their inner reactions regarding the classroom.
  2. Coaching questions naturally found their way into teacher-parent and child meetings, such as the triangle of shared responsibility: “What does everyone bring to this relationship?”
  3. Conversations between kids included coaching one another before important exams.
  4. If someone needed support with an inconvenient situation, there was always someone else to offer an improvised space for them.

The initial intention of doing more than just education began to expand. It is important to note that it is not a perfect place, as it is a “living organism” with both positive and negative aspects, where people come and go. However, its vitality is determined by the constant preoccupation with keeping the system moving.

Being in that environment, the idea of participating in Practicing Coaching training six years ago came naturally to me, and I still consider that place a valuable anchor for “How to develop a coaching culture in an organization”.

Text: Alina Porumboiu