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Business Coaches as Change Agents

Aug 17, 2007
Business coaches change both the level and the standard of the personal and professional skills sets of a single person or a group, along with attitudes, ingrained ways of thinking, belief, value systems and motivation. This helps them, as well as the organization to improve performance and general satisfaction levels related to work. In short, business coaching is a way of facilitating behavioral change.

To accomplish any kind of substantive and long-term individual behavior change, psychological methods have to be used extensively, following certain specific protocols.

The process of change employed in coaching is essentially psychological and requires specialized training for the coach and facilitator. Psychology is the study of the human mind, behavior, mental states and processes. To be able to help adults make significant changes in their behavior, especially those patterns which enhance their performance at work, coaches must be able to use proven models to facilitate change and psychology based processes from the behavioral sciences.

Business coaches today are change agents, people who are responsible for formally conducting an effort to make changes in behavior. Obviously then, a business coach or change agent must necessarily be involved in all the steps of the process.

The process of change must include the situational, as well as the physical, much the same requirement by any other application of newly learned skills. There must be a transition period, a psychological process that needs to be completed before one can come to terms with any new skill, new learning, new pattern of behavior or situation. The period of transition must start with the end of a preceding phase. To bring about a successful change in any aspect of your life, you have to end and move away from the past, leaving it behind. This not only takes time but in many cases require expert guidance from trained professionals. In the case of business and organizational change, this guidance must be received from coaches who can aid you in the use of proven psychological methods for achieving the desired results.

All periods of transition also go through an inactive or neutral zone, where little or no momentum is generated for change. This period of psychological transition is slow, a lot slower than the actual physical change or the learning of executing new techniques and actions. It is pretty much like moving house. If you have moved to a new residential area, the actual physical change of the move registers very quickly. However, the psychological transition takes much longer and happens only after a period of time. You struggle for a time in a mental state that is neither new nor old. You still walk into walls or furniture in the middle of the night because you are used to the old house. It is a time of waiting, for you to get used to new surroundings enough for movement in the dark to become instinctive and uneventful.

Obviously, unless a successful transition occurs, no change can really work. This is where the coach is most essential, employing proven psychological methods and skills.
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