What is the next step?
A transition is all about answering this question. It is to help your client acknowledge the unknown and address it to achieve a smooth transition.
Most organizational development and human resources processes expect a Coach to execute smooth transitions. You could be dealing with a new client or an existing one, you would still not know the obvious or best next step for your client.
It would get even more complex when you have to tackle a new arena. These vary from transitions pertaining to career, relocation, team reconfiguration, new role shift or job shift.
HBR throws light on the reality that, “Managers expect they will be able to identify, plan for, and influence all the variables and players in advance, but they can’t. Nobody is that smart or has that clear a crystal ball. They can, however, create an ongoing process of learning and discovery, challenging the people close to the action to produce results—and unleashing the organization’s collective knowledge and creativity in pursuit of discovery and achievement.”
This learning process needs to be aided by the assigned Coach. If you have to successfully implement a smooth transition for your client, answer these questions:
Tony Latimer addressed the topic, “How to be a Coach who guarantees successful transition for your Clients?” in his Coaching Matters session on 28th October, 2020.
If you choose to be a ‘transition coach’, here is what is expected of you.
Being a Coach, be wary of the fact that you need to identify and address the following aspects before moving on.
Organizational change and the idea that there is a need for one is where ‘transition’ begins. When people shift from one role to another, or a job to another, or move from one country to another, Tony Latimer has spotted some emerging patterns.
Taking cue of these patterns helps in the process of transition coaching.
In transition coaching, you are hired by the organization. To help someone align with the organization’s purpose does not happen in a single conversation or coaching session. And, to resolve this you need to talk to others in the organization too. Except for the CEO who may only have the board above that person, I talk to the immediate boss/ reporting manager of the person who I am coaching.
And often, when a person is told that a Coach is being brought in to talk to the person, it feels like something is wrong. It is not perceived to be a welcoming change always. Especially, the client finds it intimidating that the need for a Coach arose.
And, here the role of a transitioning coach is to coach the organization, HR, the boss and the client. It should lead to uncover the truth and lay it out in safe space.
Coaching is a skill that we scale and how we apply it. It could happen even as a simple statement in a single sentence. Coaching need not be meeting people sessions after sessions.
Coaching is all about helping people understand where they are now and where they want to be later.
When someone realizes that they have to change, that’s when the emotional element pitches. Change does not take too long when one has decided it. Once the decision for change is made, the execution of change is almost instantaneous.
Most behavioral change happens as you start doing this and stop doing that. Coaching for behavioral change is instantaneous. The execution applied to make the change happen is very interesting.
Phase 1: Begin with a lot of excitement.
Phase 2: Identity crisis. People experience the emotions of walking the tightrope. When you reach the middle of the rope, which is the cusp phase, you neither belong to space you left nor do you belong to the space where you have not yet reached.
What are the common traits of a person that makes transition a smooth process?
These are people who are self-coaching themselves in the absence of a Coach. If a transition coach is on the field, then it is about setting the right expectations. The next aspect is ensuring stakeholder mapping is done well. This helps a smooth process during transition.
What is a step-by-step approach to become better transition coaches?
You can’t coach somebody on something they don’t know. You start with coaching, but listen out for the need for some learning.
If you cannot let the change happen, then what could you do? Ensure people realize that the change that you are introducing is not an option.
Create a safe space and help them be vulnerable.
And, before a transition happens ensure these three areas are touched upon irrespective of internal or external coach.
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