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Coaching people through the change rollercoaster

You may be familiar with the ‘change curve’ but the reality is that leaders are experiencing a change rollercoaster whilst leading through one.

 There are many changes happening at once:

  • Strategic change (growth, downsizing, reorganising for new strategic priorities, cultural, etc.)
  • Tactical change in dealing with the impact of COVID-19
  • Operational change affecting the day to day impact of restrictions and sickness levels.

Leading people effectively through change optimises motivation, productivity and performance during the transition from what is ending to the new beginnings of the change.

In our session with HR leaders we explored the role coaching can play in leading effectively through the rollercoaster ride. Coaching is one of the ways leaders can provide psychological safety, ease anxiety and stress, promote positive wellbeing and performance.

Coaching can help by:

  • Creating space to think through the emotional journey and gain awareness, acceptance and perspective
  • Increasing creative thinking
  • Increasing solution focus
  • Increasing status and autonomy
  • Enabling a growth state for learning new ways of behaving
  • Increasing commitment to change
  • Building trust to enable vulnerability and support

 Some of the fundamentals of coaching are:

  • Be curious and compassionate
  • Let go of judgement
  • Ask open questions
  • Listen @level 3 – Head/Heart/Gut
  • Use a warm and supportive tone
  • Encourage connection between actions, feelings and thoughts
  • Encourage possibility thinking
  • Provide perspective/reframing

Most of the answers are in the person you are coaching – encourage them to think for themselves.

During transitions people need their fears addressing. Fears such as:

  • Will I still belong?
  • Will I be able to develop the right capabilities?
  • Will it be fair?
  • Will I lose people I care about?
  • Will I enjoy the new beginnings?
  • Will I be able to perform during the transition?

Fear is one of the biggest reasons for people not changing, for slow transition, or for loss of performance through transition. Coaching is the most successful approach to helping people to acknowledge their fears and deal with them.

In the webinar we explored how using the SCARF model by David Rock, can be used as a framework for a coaching session to deal with fears.

We also covered the coaching approach to enable resilience, regulating moods, creating behaviour change, skills development, and alignment of purpose and values.

We concluded that as leaders of change the leader must have their own coach to coach them through their own needs to enable their effective change and change leadership.

Our thanks to Claire Walton from ‘Leaders are MAD’

Tel: 0770 3797 614



Nigel Wright’s HR Leaders Network

In our most recent HR Leadership network event, we took the opportunity to talk about the change rollercoaster and how it is affecting business leaders. We also wanted to use the session as a development opportunity for our HR network as we understand how challenging and pressurised this year has been.

As always, Claire Walton from ‘Leaders are MAD’ rose to the challenge and took the group through an interactive coaching workshop.

It’s great to see how quickly HR leaders have responded to the challenges faced this year and I’m delighted to see that we can still add real value to these events in their new format. 

We have received fantastic feedback from our clients below. Contact our HR Managing Consultant Sue O'Donovan for more information regarding the session and to join the HR leadership network.

Feedback from our guests

“A 90 minute mini-master-class! An interactive, thought-provoking session with a combination of gentle reminders and different perspectives.  Claire’s style of delivery, energy and enthusiasm is contagious and certainly stimulates the grey matter.”

Lou Lightfoot, HR Director at Banks Group

“A great session with well-informed content and delivery! In the current climate, getting coaching right is so important.”

Richard Adams, HR Director at Cairn Hotel Group

“I think the session has allowed me to pause and rethink about the importance of instilling that culture within the business. It’s easy to see how we've become very sucked into focus on costs/sales/process - absolutely taking that refocus away - Thank you.”

Liz Robertson, Head of HR at Fenwick

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