Building coaching cultures in organisations is increasingly being recognised as a way to optimise staff engagement and buy-in. Over the past few years we’ve been training leaders and managers to use a coaching approach to help their staff adjust and navigate rapidly changing environments.
Rather than endlessly explaining organisational change or blindly reassuring staff, program participants find it more effective to pose questions that help to surface what’s important for each staff member. Once that’s clarified, managers can help employees to explore the potential impacts and benefits of the organisational change. They engage staff as active stakeholders as they collaboratively work through their concerns. In general, the solutions that staff members develop themselves are far more effective than anything the manager themselves might offer.
Coaching helps to empower individuals in an environment of uncertainty. Coaching conversations build their understanding of the drivers of change and support confidence in the skills needed to operate in the new landscape.
From a management perspective it surfaces the common concerns and sticking points for staff adjusting to new reporting structures, policies, priorities or radically new ways of envisioning business. As one participant recently reported, “I now feel better prepared for challenging conversations and I am able to empower others through open questions and conversations.”
Here are a few of our favourite questions. Try them out and see how they work for you.
What do you understand about the proposed changes?
What is driving these changes? Why are they important?
What do they mean for you?
What will you be doing differently?
What will remain unchanged?
What aspect of the change do you welcome?
What aspects concern you? (What specifically?)
Who or what can help you deal with these worries/ fears/ beliefs?
What assumptions are you making?
Are there any ways you’re clinging to the status quo?
What do you need to let go of?
What is this situation asking you to master or do differently?
What prevents you from moving forward?
What options are available to you?
What are your next step?
Coaching conversations are powerful and dynamic. They support change at the individual and cultural level.
If you want to explore your individual context, give us a call to see how we can support your organisational change initiative.
And in the meantime, experiment, have fun! Do let us know how you go.
How do you usually approach change conversations?
What aspect of them do you find most challenging?
Have you ever adopted a coaching approach in a change environment?
If so, what difference did you notice?