How to Coach Change – tips for coaches
A big agenda item for managers / leaders across all sectors. Here’s some practical tips for being effective, as coaches, in our support of managers leading change; and I’m sure there are many more to add!
When coaching change let’s support managers to:
- Be confident in their abilities – they do amazing things already, it mightr help to remind them!
- Have clear and positive view of progress so far – it’s easy for busy managers to lose site of positive progress
- Trust in their innate skills and abilities – it’s why they are where they are
- Ask “What would make things ‘Even Better?’”
- Deflect negative energy into something more positive or into their ‘zone / circle of control’
- Drive conversations down to what are the real and important challenges – find common ground, challenge positively and build back up
- Watch out for suggestions / plans that, “throw the baby out with the bath water!” – a lot of what’s happening right now is working and worth taking with you!
- Emphasise the ‘real world’ view – as distinct from myth, fantasy, stories or misunderstandings in the organisation.
- Challenge the validity of stories and assumptions about change.
- Encourage awareness of the customer viewpoint, (and the customer’s customer!)
- Include the employee viewpoint in conversations, they are essential to making change work.
- Use a coaching style themselves
- Be aware of the point of diminishing returns, don’t change for the sake of it.
- Focus on the principle or the ‘Why change?’ – the high level reason for change
- Focus and refocus on what’s important for people – be relentless in this respect
- Status Quo is NOT an option
- Be aware that Leading the organisation is different, (to managing)
- Ensure people are aligned with the reasons and the substance of the change
- Be an inspiration to others in the context of the change.
- Listen to the opinions of their employees, and include their ideas in the change initiative
- Create dialogue everywhere and above all encourage managers to support each other – meet – talk – coach – interact – share ideas – network!
Coaching Change, and seeing the direct positive results that change can have for individuals, teams and organisations is very rewarding as a coach.