Coaching for Change

coaching for change

Coaching for Change

Coaching For Change


Change is sometimes harder than you think. I was reminded of this on a recent trip to Athens. I had gleefully come across a Mark and Spencer and hurried up to the top floor to purchase some Earl Grey tea bags. Surprisingly, the coffee bar had an amazing view of the Acropolis. Who knew?

We were in Athens for a month on a working trip. One of our intentions was to delve into Greek culture and embrace the Geek way of life. When we sat in the rainy UK planning, we did not imagine this included a trip to M&S to buy tea. In that moment, I had well and truly retreated into my comfort zone. To be quite frank, it felt good. I was over the moon to find a good cup of tea, and shelves full of boxes in English that I could read and understand without thinking. It was nice to just relax and not have to try.

Change can be hard

Change is a bit like that isn’t it. Remember the last time you might have tried to make a change like going to the gym on your way home from work. Perhaps the first week was easy. You may have even been buoyed up by how smoothly it slipped into your routine. Then one day you miss it. You get invited out for a drink to celebrate a successful campaign. Or perhaps you just feel a bit under the weather. To be honest, it feels good, doesn’t it, that slipping off? After all. you deserve it, you’ve worked hard up until now.

Next time someone suggests going out, or you’re feeling a bit under the weather, it’s even easier to forego the workout. Before long, that gym visit becomes less and less frequent. You end up feeling disappointed and annoyed at yourself. What’s the point of even trying? This is the reality of change. It takes a lot of effort and understanding. We all fall back into comfort zones and it feels good to be back there.

How can a coach help with change?

It doesn’t matter whether it’s bringing in a new routine, like the workout, or practising new behaviors with clients and colleagues. Having support will help embed these new behaviours and gently lead you back onto the track when you divert. For many people, there is also the element of accountability that works for them too. A coach can take you through what’s going on for you when you feel tempted, or just can’t be bothered, and help you put in alternative behaviours. Or just help pick you up when you need it. A coach will also encourage you to be realistic. Unrealistic expectations are not helpful.

Stages of change

There are specific steps involved in making changes. They apply whether you are trying to intsall a good habit, like a ten minute meditation every day, or break an addiction. These steps are stages of change:

  • First is precontemplation, where you are not even thinking about change.
  • Second is contemplation, where you may be pondering cutting down on your phone use, for instance, but haven’t done anything about it yet.
  • Next comes determination, making that decision.
  • This is followed by action, doing it.
  • Sometimes you move straight onto maintenance, and all is good. You stay there, with a nrew routine or habit intact.
  • More often that not though, you experience a relapse, and it’s here that a good coach can get you back on your feet.

Almost all coaching involves elements of working with change. Sometimes it’s the changes we want. We want to be more organised. We desire to speak up in a meeting. Sometimes, however, change is thrust upon us. A new client comes onboard and they remind us of our father, with whom we have a particularly difficult relationship. We’ve been promoted, but our previous peers don’t respect that new role. These things are particularly difficult.

If you’re coping with changes right now, or you’d like to get some help for your staff who are facing change, chat to me or get in touch to see how I can help.


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