Coaching for change
• Change is hard. Ask anyone who has tried to switch careers, develop a new skill, improve a relationship, or break a bad habit. And yet for most people change will at some point be necessary - a critical step toward fulfilling their potential and achieving their goals, both at work and at home. They will need support with this process. They’ll need a coach. Researchers developed a framework that can help you to support people with challenges.
• Spot the opportunity: If you pay attention, you’ll start finding “coachable moments” – opportunities to help people with their development – everywhere. Sometimes people are aware they need to shift gears as the challenge is evident, in other cases they experience a wake-up call. Moreover, the research of Avolio suggests that it’s useful for organizations to assess and sometimes even enhance the readiness of employees they’ve chosen for development, otherwise it won’t be as effective.
• Set the groundwork: Numerous studies have shown that people tend to achieve more, in a more sustainable way, when they’re in a positive state both psychologically and physically. Therefore, it is important to coach with compassion. Another important aspect is to guide the person you’re coaching toward an accurate assessment of his or her real self, which consists of two components: what people know about themselves, and their understanding of how others experience and think of them. Next is the learning agenda, where the idea is to leave people feeling energized and empowered to improve.
• See things through: Change efforts of any kind require time and energy. Even the best-laid plans sometimes fail or take a while to pan out. Typically, it takes from 18 to 254 days to form a new habit. Skill building, relationship management, and career change require even greater commitments, with many stops and starts.
• If you’re a manager, your most important job is to help those around you reach their greatest potential and when you coach with compassion, it becomes contagious.
Boyatzis, R., Smith, M. & Van Oosten, E. (2019). Coaching for Change. Harvard Business Review, 97(5), 151-155.
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