I have been a corporate and certification trainer for several decades. I love to train! I enjoy seeing people understand something new, seeing their faces light up when they make a new connection, and presenting new and different ways of thinking. These are all the benefits of training, and I did a heck of a lot of that for over twenty years.
Then I became disillusioned with all the training that I did. My attitude changed when I was engaged to train about 250 Information Technology (IT) professionals on excellent customer service skills to help the organization boost its customer loyalty ratings. I learned during the first two hours of the first class I taught that a lack of customer service skills on the part of these dedicated, smart and resourceful IT professionals was not the problem. The real problem was the toxic culture that leaders had embedded due to their mean-spirited and commanding leadership style. The IT professionals were routinely yelled at, belittled and abused by upper managers. They were often left out of important decisions affecting their work hours and environment. They were held to impossible deadlines and not provided adequate resources to meet them. I concluded at the end of that two-hour class session that the executives of this organization desperately needed to have leadership skills training and one-on-one coaching to repair the damage done to the organization’s culture. Only then could they create a new culture of great customer service.
Published in, and reproduced with permission from, choice, the magazine of professional coaching <http://www.choice-online.com> www.choice-online.com
For some, navigating an organization’s culture can be like whitewater rafting
– thrilling but dangerous. As I think back on all the clients I’ve coached over
my career, many of them needed help understanding and fitting into their
On the other hand, others discovered that the culture of their current position wasn’t
in alignment with their personal values and decided to leave that company entirely,
looking for a better fit. Our overall goal and duty as coaches is to help avoid this latter
problem, enabling clients to survive and thrive in their organization’s culture.
From the desk of