Change has Changed

I remember learning Lewin’s model of change in my Psychology 101 class. The model has three steps to describe the change process: Unfreeze, Change, Refreeze. I think global warming has hit organizational change, because nothing seems to freeze anymore.  Change is now a constant; a fluid process we need to learn to flow with or we will surely drown.Coaching-based leadership is like swimming lessons for leaders. It teaches them how to move with, and even grow and develop in, the constant state of change.   When leaders take a coaching approach to the change process they open up their thinking – and the thinking of others – to find new ways of responding to their ever-changing environment.When people do not feel equipped to deal with a situation, they can become frightened and rigid.  For example, people who don’t know how to swim don’t tend to like spending time on the water.  What we often call “resistance to change” is just fear being expressed in a very rational way. People who don’t feel they can keep their head above water during the change process will do what they can to avoid the situation or stop the change.

Fear of change creates organizational cultures that are sluggish and slow to recognize and respond to the many opportunities change creates. People just keep doing what they’re doing, even if it may not make sense anymore, because that’s what they know how to do. It feels safer to stay with the familiar than to jump into the deep end and try something new.

The first step to creating an organization that can flow with change is to teach your leaders and managers how to embrace change as an opportunity to learn, grow and create new ways of doing business.   That means teaching them how to use coaching approaches in day-to-day situations to flow with the constant process of change.

We often work with organizations before they engage in a major change to teach the people who will lead the change effort how to use coaching approaches to help others move through the change process more smoothly.  Our [permalink href=152]Coaching in the Moment[/permalink] workshop teaches leaders how to recognize and successfully step into the coachable moments as they occur in day-to-day situations.

We all need to learn to swim with the tide of change.  Once your leaders are confident in their abilities to move with change – and help others do the same – they will be better able to learn, grow and innovate as part of the change process.

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