“The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change -” ― Heraclitus
‘According to Darwin’s Origin of Species, it is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself.’ – Megginson
How do people experience change?
- What creates an awareness of the need for change?
- How are we aware of the process of change?
- How do we become aware when change is realised?
- As a verb: to make or become different
- As a noun: an act or process through which something becomes different
Change, Evolve, Adapt, Transform, Transition, Develop, Shift, Advance, Modify, Switch, Innovate, Adjust
Changes in life affect us in many different ways; it shifts and shakes our world, whether for good or bad. Change invites us to look and feel things in a different light: it enables us to create new relationships and draw new perceptions. Think about some of the following key ‘life’ issues that bring about change:
- career change
- change in religion
- changes in education
- children arrive
- children leave nest
- confrontation with authority
- connecting with symbolic, universal realities
- different cultures and customs
- emotional to cognitive processing
- environmental shifts
- financial windfall
- left to right brain processing
- loss of job or income
- major change in income
- major dietary changes
- mid life crisis
- negative to positive thinking
- overcoming victim hood and being 100% accountable for everything
- positive to higher spiritual thinking
- progressively sensing experiences, lessons, meaning and purpose of all events and encounters
- purpose – loss of
Now consider about some of the following key ‘business and technology’ issues that bring about change:
- office re-location
- major expansion or downsizing
- disruptive technology
- team work
- virtual workplace
- mergers and acquisitions
- organisational change
- agile transformations
I love this term, as for me, it relates very nicely to change: VUCA – volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. When the need for change arrives or is anticipated or is forced upon you by circumstance, you have a choice.
A choice can be as simple as: yes, no, not now.
Yes, I am going to accept the uncertainty and ambiguity that change may bring about.
No, I am not to accept the uncertainty and ambiguity that change may bring about.
Not now, …I’ll do it tomorrow, it’s ages away, it’s around the corner so it’s not impacting me now.
Sometimes people, teams and organisations need support to realise and work with change and as a professional coach, this is where I find my reason for being. I love to coach and I like working with the curiosity that’s evoked through the coachee / coach relationship. Best of all: seeing people realise their change, their personal journey.
I’ve experienced huge amounts of change: leaving the RAF, divorce (twice), contracting, from PM to Coach, my MSc studies in Coaching and Development, writing and studying more, my children, working with charities, agile transformations, change management projects and the last, for the moment: giving up alcohol, last drop of wine was Sunday evening, 5 Oct 2014. All this required a shift.
As a coach, I work with a number of models that support change: Gestalt, stages of change model, Systemic & Constellations, TGROW, creative insights, transpersonal (working with the Will), transactional analysis, IDEAL, positive psychology, Appreciative Inquiry, phenomenology to name but a few.
For me, it’s not about being a Leadership, Agile, Team, Life, Business, Career, Executive, Performance Coach: and I’m sure looking at LinkedIn profiles, there’s a few more out there. It’s about being a Coach, not doing Coaching.
Coaching is about supporting change, whether an individual, team or organisation. Coaching is having conversations that evokes a sense of ‘…what could be?’
In the coaching relationship, the answer doesn’t lie with the Coach: it lies with the coachee, as they have the internal resource to come up with the best way forward. They will then own this and hold a responsibility. The Coach draws on a spectrum of coaching, from directed to non-directed.
It’s about holding a natural belief that ALL people, teams and organisations have the ability to achieve greater and higher levels of performance, because we all have ‘potential’.
Figure 1 – Change Cycle
Coaching must also bring about a degree of challenge and the aim of challenge is to raise awareness, create objectivity and build personal responsibility.
In Figure 1, the change cycle, ask yourself or your team or leader – where am I / are we on the journey of change? Have we been thrown in to ‘disorder / chaos’ by change? Are aspects of my life being disrupted by a sense of meaning or purpose, lack of?
Finally, as a Coach that supports and works with change, I don’t need to know the domain knowledge. So I don’t need to know about Java, Python, M&A Financing, Insurance, Banking, Manufacturing: I don’t need to be an expert in their field. This only acts as ‘interference’ and brings on a mind-set of ‘solutionising’.
I will leave you with two quotes that invoke an essence of what Coaching can be.
“You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself.”― Galileo
“Coaching is the art of facilitating the development, learning and performance of another” – Downey