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Our topic at this month’s professional association meeting was change. Josh Freedman, an expert in using emotional intelligence for effective individual and organizational change, led a webinar on how coaches can transform organizations.  Interesting timing since I was talking to a client about change.  He was frustrated because he couldn’t get his boss or his peers to see things his way.  My client knew he was right but no one else seemed to get it.  He wanted to know how he could get them to change.

As we explored this further, my client realized that in order for others to change you first have to change yourself.  He complained that it wouldn’t be easy to change his approach.  Probably not, but still easier than trying to get other people to change!

As Josh Freedman pointed out, it is the coach’s job to help people make the transition from resistance to engagement.  In order to do that, we have to help increase the client’s awareness within themselves, in relation to other people and in relation to their organization.  My client’s increased awareness of his need to change as well as his resistance to doing so helped him move a few steps toward engaging in the idea that changing his behavior could lead to a more productive outcome.

Here are some questions to increase your awareness about the need for change:

  • What am I doing that isn’t working?
  • If I change one thing, what is the likely impact on my colleagues, my business, and/or my personal life?
  • If I don’t change anything, what is the likely impact?
  • What will it cost me to change that one thing?
  • What will it cost me if I don’t change it?

When you decide to change one thing, ask yourself:

  • What is keeping me from making this change?
  • What do I need to do to overcome my resistance?

The reality is that we can’t get others to change but, if we change ourselves, there’s a good chance they may change as well.  As Gandhi said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

If you would like to explore how coaching can increase your awareness and support you in making change, contact me at cheryl@csbryan.com.

Do you have any trouble springing forward when the time changes?  It is a challenge for most of us to adjust to that kind of change.   I see many clients struggling to respond with resilience, especially to changes over which they feel they have no control.  In a corporate culture that values mental toughness, it can be perceived as whining if we voice concerns about a reorganization or a new assignment.

I have been working with a client who was frustrated by organizational changes.  He felt ambushed since he wasn’t involved in the decisions and was struggling to get past his resentment.  This is the approach we used:

  • Don’t take it personally – take yourself out of the equation and look at it from the perspective of others.  What are the possible reasons that you weren’t consulted on the decisions?
  • Manage your response – assess your emotional reaction and then decide how to respond rationally.
  • Spring forward with resilience – create motivation for yourself by taking action.  Once you do something to move forward you will be less likely to hold on to your resistance to the change.

Contact me at cheryl@csbryan.com to explore how you can spring forward.