One thing that can be guaranteed is change - changes in cultural contexts, political and legal infrastructures, society, and business. Wilson (2009) identifies the main drivers of change for employment and (formal and informal) work are advances in technology and demography, factors that are already influencing the shape of organisations. In the last century “work-life was much simpler .... [where] information work entailed following instructions and procedures, and logical analysis. Today’s ... work ... [relies on] pattern recognition, tacit knowledge and the wisdom born of experience” (Jennings, 2012, p. 3). All of these factors impact understanding of learning, attitudes toward professional development, and opinions about value for money and the value of time spent learning. For example, for the first time there will be four generations in the workforce all of whom are likely to want the option of flexibility of where, how and when they work and learn (Jimenez, 2005).
Coaching offers a flexible, personalised way for people and organisations to:
Understand and work with the inevitability of, and resistance to, change
Develop strategies that recognise change can be experienced in a wide range of ways and steps (see for example, the Virginia Satir Change Model, Smith, 2000)
Embrace the fact that “change cannot be controlled” (Little, 2014, n.p.), and
Recognise that, when supported, “people have a way of fighting through the pain of change when they want the outcome badly enough” (Little, 2014, n.p.)
Two of the main reasons that people or organisations seek out coaching is because they want to change, or because change is underway and they want to work within it as effectively and painlessly as possible. Coaching is ideal because it is tailored to the needs of the individual or team and aligned with the organisation. As a result there is space for people to learn at their own pace, while also working with their own sense of professional and personal identity, which in turn impacts behaviour, and, frequently, levels of motivation.
Perceptions of self-efficacy strongly influence a person’s motivation and ability to perform effectively (Bandura 1986). A strong coaching relationship is able to “provide opportunities for social influence, feedback and modelling, and to build a culture of trust, support success and use approaches that positively impact personal cognition” (Owen, 2015, p. 4). In other words coaching can help a coachee develop positive self-efficacy, which helps them to “shift from seeing change as a threat to seeing it as an opportunity” (Southern Institute of Technology, 2015). They may also become change agents and leaders, who are adept at adapting rapidly to change, and who have the confidence and ability to use their own initiative to work with employees who require further support.
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Cox, E (2012), Coaching Understood: A pragmatic inquiry into the coaching process. London: Sage.
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Jennings, C. (2012). The Rise of Workplace Learning - Introduction. In Workplace Learning: New thinking and practice. 6(1). pp. 1-1. Retrieved November 20, 2012 from http://www.efmd.org/images/stories/efmd/Blog/wpl.pdf.
Jimenez, R. E. (2005). Future Trends in e-Learning. Retrieved November 2, 2012 from http://www.vignettestraining.com/ela/enews14.htm.
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Little, J. (2014). Lean Change Management: Innovative Practices for Managing Organizational Change (1st edition ed.). Toronto, ON, Canada: Happy Melly Express.
Smith. S. (2000). The Satir Change Model. Retrieved from http://stevenmsmith.com/ar-satir-change-model/.
Wilson, R. (2009). Summative report: The future of work and implications for education. Retrieved October 9, 2012 from http://www.beyondcurrenthorizons.org.uk/summative-report-the-future....
Williams, P. (2014). Coaching vs psychotherapy: The great debate. Choice Magazine 2(1). 38-39.
Image: 'Hand in hand' http://www.flickr.com/photos/8804814@N08/5771960109 Found on flickrcc.net
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