Nature Based Solutions are already there15/10/2020
Transition coaching serves an art, because going through major changes in life is an art: a difficult art, but one that humans possess innately. So what good is a coaching support if governing change is something we humans should all be able to do without learning it?
Diving into the unknown
The fact is that transition coaching is needed because in times of great change we are usually in the grip of strong emotions. Strong emotions can be unsettling and leave us completely disoriented. Change involves a plunge into the unknown, something that our inner animal, focused on avoiding all threat to our survival, detests. This is why it is often fear that hinders our transitions. Or, if it does not block us entirely, it forces us to take ‘safer’ but less interesting paths. It makes us play defensively, preventing us from daring to the full.
At other times, it is anger that takes over. Sometimes we take the decision to make radical changes as a result of anger at someone. Or of the rejection of a situation that has become unbearable to us. In such cases, anger can be used in a healthy way as fuel for action. This fiery energy propels us forward and allows us to overcome even challenging obstacles. But more often, anger leads us to react rather than act. In that case we tend to focus more on what we ‘don’t want’, i.e. what we want to leave behind, rather than on what we do want.
These are just two examples, but they give an idea of why some help in passing through transitions, the big changes in life, is indispensable.
The steady hand of a guide
Coaching in transitions is just as delicate as going through the change itself. The challenge for the coach is to lend a firm hand in support of the protagonist(s) while increasing their autonomy.
This is the overriding goal of the true coach: to increase the ability of the assisted person to face and manage their own changes in the future with complete autonomy and security. For this, the coach must know how to help the client find his or her own solutions, those he or she will be able to draw on in the future in new transition situations.
In the two examples given above, the job in the first case will be to reassure the person to the extent that he/she can dare to go as far as he/she can. In the second case, the work will be to help the person find exactly what they want, what they want to achieve; helping them to let go of the temptation to react ‘against’, thus wasting their energy. And these are just two examples among countless possible situations.
The transition coach is therefore a professional who knows how to help the client by making himself transparent, while remaining steady in his experience and competence.
Not just talent but method and experience
So is the transition coach a kind of artist, a person who has an innate and unique talent? Not really. Certainly, a certain flair for empathy and active listening are necessary. But to successfully accompany difficult transitions, such as those of companies, whether externally or internally, one needs method and experience.
As for experience, this is done on one’s own skin, with scratches and bruises, or with cuts and fractures if it goes badly. As in the myth of Chiron, the wounded centaur patron of healers, he who heals must know the pain of wounds. So here it is that to qualify as a transition coach one must have gone through major life changes in a constructive spirit and come out having learned something from the experience. It is not a question of studying or obtaining diplomas. Life is the only school that, if ‘attended’ intelligently, really teaches … to adapt to its continuous mutability.
As for method, let us first remember what is meant by this term. From the Oxford Dictionary website: ‘a particular procedure for accomplishing or approaching something, especially a systematic or established one”. In practice, facing the transition, and accompanying the client through it, with method means having clear ideas about:
- where one wants to get to
- why one wants to get there
- how to get there
- what resources the client has
- what resources are needed
- who/what can help
These at least are the main points that need to be organised and kept as cardinal reference points for coaching in transitions.
People and organisations: it’s always about people
Transitions and radical changes do not only happen in people’s lives, quite the contrary. The world of business, of organisations, is in constant motion, like in every aspect of life. And in the movement come changes that must be skilfully navigated in order to produce the expected results. And why not: even produce better ones.
For example, when two companies merge, or one is incorporated into a larger organisation, these are radical upheavals. Organisational and power relationships, service and information flows: everything changes, often with bewildering speed. These are organisational aspects, which concern enterprises, i.e. legal-functional structures.
Of course it is, but organisations are made up of people, and they will always be people going through change. They will have to do so while trying to maintain a functional balance that supports the achievement of results and above all their overall health and well-being. To be cynical, this well-being is a functional business objective, so it must be in the priorities of the organisation’s leadership.
Method and humanity
I used to believe that methods dehumanised the consulting or coaching approach. Then I happened to take a very interesting training on the subject of communication in medicine and I was enlightened. The method is a kind of central axis on which to anchor the practice, so as to ensure that no essential element is lost in achieving the end result. At the same time, precisely because of the existence of this sort of fixed point, a good method allows the humanity of the coach to explore every aspect that arises spontaneously from the relationship with the client.
That was when my CASE® Method for Conflict Transformation was born. That was the first version; then the Method expanded functionally to sustainable leadership, to the point that this became the title of the book. Finally, the version for transition coaching was born. The deep root of the Method is always the same: knowledge of human nature and its basic needs. A humane methodological approach anchored in the most advanced scientific discoveries of neuroscience is founded on this extremely solid basis.
This is why the CASE® Method for coaching in transitions makes it possible to go through major changes while maintaining the balance of all players. And with it the focus on the goals that led to the initiation of the change. The Method can even help to unlock a necessary change that for some reason is struggling to get going: due to fear, usually. Or apparent lack of resources.
I say ‘apparent’ because resource limitations should never be an obstacle to initiating a necessary transition. At most, they must help determine the magnitude of the change, at least at the initial moment. Then the resources necessary for the complete change will be generated within the transition itself. This is the magic of a transition done correctly, with the right help.
Are you going through a transition?
In our times, most people and companies are going through great changes. Others, by trying to stand still in an environment that is changing at great speed, are putting their very survival at risk.
If your organisation is also going through the changes necessary to survive and thrive in the changing world you may need some help.
Transition coaching is probably the most suitable formula to accompany your people and your organisation through this phase.
You will be able to make the most of the resources available to you and start generating those you do not yet have at your disposal; people, financial or material resources, technology, synergies and partnerships with your value chain… These are just some of the opportunities that good transition coaching can help you find.
Let’s assess your situation together
If you feel that some help from transition coaching can support you in this time of great change, let’s assess your situation together.
Let’s make an online appointment in which you tell me about your situation so that I can make the appropriate, sustainable and concrete proposal for you. The first evaluation appointment is free of charge.
Write to me here: firstname.lastname@example.org
See you soon