Coaching through company change is an excellent niche for business coaches to step into, and is generally a great expertise to aquire. Recently I was asked to do a workshop in Columbia with the senior management team of a very large company in transition. What struck me was that also 50% of the business leaders I was training in my Motivational Coaching and NLP Practitioner training class were talking about the same thing.
So here are my tips for coaching company change:
- What the employer often forgets is that change comes with emotions. The employer forgets that they have their own (unresourceful) emotions as a leader, and their employees have theirs too.
- The first phase in coaching company change is the grief period; for most people this comes with accepting change, understanding that the old is no longer there. This can come with feelings of sadness and anger.
- The second phase is the transition period, during which the employees have accepted that the old no longer exists, but the new company still hasn’t quite begun to materialize or the employee simply hasn’t started to work as if the new company is there. This is a phase of frustration, fear, and insecurity. Employees are asking themselves “will everything be OK?”
- The third phase of coaching company change is getting started in playing a role and doing actions for the new company. This is about the employee actively playing a role and starting to see their role inside the new organization, for example: their first project.
- Do not minimize a person’s emotions. Emotions always need to be processed.
- Do not promise things that cannot be promised, like job security if this isn’t the case.
- Keep in mind some employees do not see change coming, even when it is obvious. They completely push the concept and possibility out of their brain. Because of this possibility, breaking the news can really be a shock that needs to be processed.
- Some people want to hold on to the old situation no matter what, while others will be willing to move towards the new version of the company once they really understand what it is.
- Some people shift easily into the new company. They get through it strategically, or simply through trial and error, figuring it out along the way.
- The best way to coach through company change is by using the NLP coaching methodology of future pacing focusing on what exactly the vision and mission of the new company are going to be. You must associate the employee with this place, so that they can imagine what they would see, hear, and feel when the new company is in effect. This means the employer needs to be pushed in coaching in company change in order to offer clarity as to what the new company and its vision is going to be.