Coaching is a powerful catalyst for change. I experience the benefits it provides to individuals and organisations every day and see strong synergies between coaching and change management practice when it comes to their ethos, skillset and application.
We can choose to change, or our circumstances can dictate change on us. In Australia in 2020 we have encountered an extraordinary amount of change that has impacted our lives, our livelihoods and our natural world.
It’s important to understand how we can support each other to adapt and respond when we experience significant changes that require new attitudes and behaviours for us to be successful.
So, what are some practical ways we can sharpen our focus on key skills that will enable us to embrace change and shift our thinking?
- Co-create the relationship
Trust is the foundation of relationships. Building trust is vital for meaningful engagement and mutual respect is at the heart of this. It starts with
making people feel valued - who they are, what they do, what they say and what they think.
Take the time to understand what’s important to them…what do they value?
What are their hope and fears…where do they need support?
What are their ideas and aspirations…what are they seeking to achieve?
What can we learn from their experience and perspectives…how can they build on past successes?
- Communicate effectively
Communication is an essential skill that requires continuous effort and commitment. At its simplest, it involves senders and receivers and ultimately, it’s about people feeling heard and understood. As a process of information exchange, it’s requires clear content and targeted delivery. Listening is the game changer - never underestimate the power of being listened to.
We need to listen to understand and ignore the urge to respond with solutions.
Give people the time and space to share their thoughts, feelings, questions and concerns.
Tune in to tone and body language to explore what matters most.
What language are we hearing and how does that provide insights into mindset?
Play back what these collective cues are telling us to check we’re on track with our understanding.
- Facilitate learning and results
This is about personal growth, improved performance and experiencing the benefits of success. The process and outcome are equally important parts of this journey. How do we recognise and reward people for doing the right thing, making progress, maintaining momentum and sustaining positive change?
Test and learn…feel supported to be brave and try new things and see how they go
Capture insights…look out for those lightbulb moments which hold important life lessons for each of us
Review and reflect…pay attention to the highlights and the lowlights and see what they reveal
Professional coaching benefits from a multidisciplinary approach. What complementary disciplines do you draw on in your coaching practice?
Rebecca Cattran, ACC is an accredited leadership coach and organisational change consultant who is passionate about supporting people to be successful.
Rebecca is also part of ICF’s VIC TAS leadership team, where she is focused on maximizing member experience through creating meaningful connections.