21 Jun Transition Coaching – How this can help support change both personally and professionally
What is Transition Coaching? The one thing constant about change is change itself. When there is a big change or transition in our lives we need support to help us through to the other side. This is where transition coaching can be of help.
Many organisations have been through the big transition to remote working and are still working through this. They will also be facing more change in the coming months as employees return to the office be that in a hybrid/distributed teams’ format or in a traditional sense. Even still the structured world of work that we have known for many years is in the past and flexibility and work-life balance are more important to employees now more than ever. This transition for organisations to accommodate the changed world of work is significant and as the new way of working evolves, significant personal and organisational transition will have to be carefully navigated.
This is just one significant example of a organisational transition that is currently relevant and they are many ongoing transitions within organisations, departments or with employees that are of significance too. The area of transition coaching has increased in recent years and the importance of getting support during transitions can be the difference in the make or break for a positive result.
Letting go of what was to embrace what’s next is more difficult than it sounds. The way things were comes with an identity, a set of values and beliefs. To embrace what’s next needs space to re-evaluate, let go of some things, and embrace the newness. It is common for people to resist change that is not predicted or that has been thrust upon them, but here is where people need to understand the ‘why’ behind change and come to embrace the change for all the good that is to come with it.
The model commonly used in transition coaching to help understand how people move through transition comes from William Bridges. He describes the three stages of transition:
- Endings: This is characterised by identifying what is being lost, the impact of this loss, learning how to manage this loss, evaluating what is over and what to be kept – transition begins with an ending.
- Neutral Zone: This is characterised by potential confusion, there is no rule book, there are no policies or procedures, the flip side being we have huge opportunity to be creative, to design a new way of working and managing the challenge, new ways of putting in systems and routines to support all.
- New Beginnings: This is characterised by new values, beliefs, and attitudes. The ending has been accepted and there is a bust of energy and excitement for the new beginning. There is a feeling of rebirth, a new identity, and a new purpose.
This model gives insight into how transition is managed from an ending to a new beginning. Transitions can be as small as moving to a new desk in work to as big as moving from in person to remote work, as many of us have experienced recently. From this insight we must develop ‘outsight’, as was indicated by Ibarra (2008). This means we must put the models and theories into practice, putting structures in place to support transition such as developing a growth mindset within organisations so they are open to change rather than fixed mindsets that will resist it, create a culture of open communication, psychological safety, and trust for their employees.
Transitions are typically difficult, whether that be at an individual or organisational level, but with proper insight, outsight, and coaching, positive change can be achieved.