One of the main Ericksonian principles is that change is inevitable. Coaches can assist their clients to notice how change is happening each moment, they can be listening to for when their clients are in growth mode, and can help them to become more aware of who they are on every level and layer, in every area and aspect of their lives.
Coaching is a catalyst for change because it helps clients move from where they are currently to where they want to be, in an actionable, accountable way. While change can be daunting for some, coaching can help the experience be focused and energizing rather than disruptive and messy.
Many people feel that change is impossible, and so have a tendency to fight the transition from one state to another. We are in a state of change almost constantly, from the minute, unobvious changes to more tangible, obvious life changes. Coaching can help to smooth the transition process – the part that most people are resistant to.
Coaching also helps to specifically identify the change that a client wishes to see. Coaches work on developing and defining SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely) goals with their clients to hone in on what they want to have happen for themselves and how they will know when they achieve it.
This leads to a tangible action plan with individual steps for the client to work through continuously and helps them to be aware of the process they are going through – this action plan also serves as a motivational tool to keep the client moving forwards and remain focused on their goal(s).
These constant reminders and motivators for the client help to mitigate the uncertainty of change and allow the client to see that they are responsible for their direction and ultimate success. This then serves to address the human “need” to have a sense of control over their destiny.
Once a client understands and works through a change that might be particularly challenging for them, they then have the tools to address future instances where change might present an obstacle and understand how better to work through it. Coaching can provide learning that is applicable to professional and personal change, whether they continue to work with a client or not.
If you are a coach, how do you help your clients understand and work with change? If you have been coached, how did this help you address the change process so that you can achieve your desired outcome?