Don’t wait! Initiate that Change NOW!
It is said that people come to coaching for lots of different reasons, but the bottom line is Change.
They no longer want things to stay the same and they see that coaching can make that Change happen.
Based on my coaching experience spanning more than two decades, I can vouch for this fact.
In my experience, coachees fall into 2 categories:
- Coachees sponsored by an organization. In such cases, it is the HR team that normally scouts for external coaches based on the coaching needs already identified in a person. In most cases, the coachee’s manager has identified the coaching need, working with the coachee. The HR team and the coachee’s manager have decided the way forward.
- Coachees who seek coaching in their individual capacity – not sponsored by any organization. In my world, such coachees regularly reach out to me via LinkedIn, my website, or through references.
Where the coachee is sponsored by an organization, in most cases, the coaching need – or the need for Change – has been identified in more or less a timely manner. This is because there is a structured Performance Appraisal process in such organizations. However, when it comes to the coachees reaching out to me in their individual capacity, in most cases, the need for Change is already urgent. The desired Change is expected quickly. This is because the need has simmered within them for quite some time.
Why is it that individuals do not attend to the need for Change or delay attending to it? For this, it is important to understand how we manage Change.
How do we manage Change?
When it comes to Change, many years ago, I read about the Interchange Cycle in a book by Lillie R. Brock & Mary Ann Salerno – highly recommended!
The book speaks about the 6 stages of Change that an individual passes through. See the table below:
Typically, when it comes to any Change, the Interchange model suggests that we normally pass through Stage 1 to Stage 6. Each stage is characterized by specific ‘feelings of’, ‘thoughts are’ and ‘behavior is’ elements. Stage 6 is when the Change is so fully integrated that it is now a part of us.
The red band shown in the table between Stage 3 and 4 is called the Danger Zone. It is thus termed because, at this stage, there is a real risk of going back to the initial stages of #3, 2, & 1 rather than moving forward to Stage #4, 5, & 6.
What I like about the Interchange model is that it helps us understand the natural process of – and resistance to – Change. It has resonated very well with me as I went through the many situations of Personal Change. To me, the model also informs us that we need not feel guilty or shameful when we feel resistant to Change. It is only natural to resist. Also, what the model does is that it shows that there is a pathway beyond.
The role of a coach
When it comes to the role of the coach, to borrow Socrates’ words, ‘I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think.’
The coach’s role is to empower the coachee to move forward and show the coachee how they can move forward. To relate to the table, many a time, the coach is actually gently nudging the coachee to move forward across the Stages. It is while the coach and the coachee are having the conversations that the ‘feelings’, ‘thoughts’, and ‘behaviors’ can be observed/felt by the coach. While it is the coachee’s role to initiate that Change, the coach needs to create the right conditions for the coachee to feel empowered.
Many a time, I can see the struggle of my coachees through the prism of the Interchange Cycle model. The model clearly illustrates why people delay dealing with the Change.
Feeling stuck? Initiate that Change NOW!
I was recently coaching a senior professional who appeared stuck in his career. While he has been contributing very well to his organization, there was a feeling that he is ‘being taken for granted’ by the organization. He felt that one of the reasons is that he has been in the same organization for too long a time – for over 12 years. When I began working with him, I sensed that he was in Stage #3 – feeling anxious and his thoughts were confused.
I decided to open up a new highway for him – could he begin imagining himself 2 years from now? To make it really specific, I asked him to imagine what would happen 2 years from now – his work title, his Job Description, his preferred organization, and also his CTC. Also, given a choice, what would his contribution within his organization and the industry look like.
As I began receiving his well-researched responses, I realized that I had successfully nudged him past the Danger Zone. He had moved quickly to Stage #4. Apart from responding to my questions, he had created his resume – for the first time in over a decade. He was heavily invested in the coaching process and was excitedly looking forward to our conversations.
In the context of the Interchange Cycle, to ‘move’ would mean moving to the next stage of the Interchange Cycle.
And, as indicated in the above example, a coach could play a major role to help you move through the stages.
Now that you know how the Change process works, don’t wait! Initiate that Change NOW! The sooner you take charge, the better!
As my Quote #333 says, ‘Sometimes, impatience is a good thing.’
In case you need help with making that Change, don’t wait any longer. Make the move NOW. Reach out to me at [email protected]