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       Certified Master Coach Course - Some Introductory Notes: Workplace Coach and Change Process
      The Process of Change and Coaches as Change Agents
          -How to bridge the transitional change gap -the need for specialist coach training as agents of change using psychological
           methodologies in the workplace

           Coaches Agents of Change in Workplace -Extracts from 'Behavioral Coaching' by Zeus and Skiffington - by McGraw-Hill, New York

Coaches are required to both change the level and standard of personal and professional skills sets, attitudes, thinking, beliefs, values, motivation etc of an individual or group, in order to help them (and their organization) perform even better and derive greater satisfaction from their everyday work life and their careers. Coaching is fundamentally about achieving behavioral change (what people do and say).


Psychology: Is the study of emotion, cognition, and behavior, and their interaction. A critical aspect of psychology concerns the science of behavior change. This involves the study and the discovery of principles and laws that govern behavior, the extension of these principles, and the development of an applied technology to facilitate positive, lasting changes in behavior.


To accomplish substantive and sustained individual behavior change, certain psychological methods must be used and specific protocols followed:
The change process in coaching, in essence, is a psycho-logical one and thus requires a specialist training and finesse on the part of the coach. In order to help adults change significant facets of their behavior and
enhance their performance at work, it is essential that
use proven change models and processes from the behavioral sciences. From the perspective of the behavioral sciences -there is really not much that’s
"new" regarding how to change behavior and employ evidence proven models, tools and techniques etc co-opted by the professional coaching industry.


Change Agents:
A change agent is a person who is formally conducting a change effort. The change agent is involved in all steps of the process of change.

Coaches are Change Agents -however most coaches are taught only to assist their clients to make changes and as a consequence only see them fail in the process of transition:
Change is situational and physical, like applying new skills. But, there is a transition period, a psychological process, which people must pass through to come to terms with the new learning, skill, behavior, situation etc. Transition starts with an ending. When you move forward, you have to have an ending of where you were. For a person to successfully make a change, they must leave the past/where they were. This takes time and expert guidance by a professionally trained coach in the use of proven psychological methodologies.

Transition has a period in a 'neutral zone' where little momentum is achieved:
This psychological period of transition is much slower than the physical change/learning how to execute new actions. When you move to a new area, the physical change usually occurs fast. But the inward psychological transition happens much more slowly because instead of becoming a new person as fast as you change outwardly, you actually struggle for a time in a state that is neither new nor old. The coachee feels like they have let go of one trapeze and are waiting for the next one to appear.
The 3 Phase Psychological Re-orientation of Change: Ending – Neutral Zone – and New Beginning:
You can only make a new beginning if you first make an ending and spend some time in the neutral zone. However, most coaches try to start with the new beginning without finishing the old. These coaches tend to take a performance deficit approach with their clients and spend much of their time in the 'New Beginning' zone concentrating on the application of a new skill/behavior etc. They fail to pay important attention to the endings (of why a person was where they were to then become committed to move on) and the existence of the neutral zone (of how to successfully make the transition/the move/the journey from the old to the new).
A coach needs to establish what a client first needs to move forward:
A coachee needs to feel understood and be heard and have time to wrestle with many emotions such as; denial, fear, anxiety, uncertainty, confusion, frustration, apathy, scepticism and isolation. Questions and issues concerning self exploration, self awareness, self control and self expression must also be addressed. Other questions include: What do they need to get on with the transition? What are they holding onto? What do they need to leave behind? What can they bring with them?

Management's Psychological Contract of Support with their employees:
For optimum results a coach must also spend a considerable amount of their time with the key stakeholders around the coachee. During the transition phase it is also important that the coach has the coachee's management and fellow employees provide support and a climate of openness and risk-taking. The coachee is encouraged to be open with stakeholders about what they are going to change. It helps that the stakeholders are also "fellow travellers" in the journey of change and are also trying to improve themselves and not act as "judges" pointing their fingers at the coach's client. 

Coaches -are the bridge builders across the Neutral Zone:
Unless successful transition takes place, change will not work. The neutral zone is the critical time for the coach to ensure the coachee is able to achieve sustainable renewal and development. It is critical that coaches be taught how to employ the proven psychological skills and tools necessary to guide and support their clients through this time of transition to achieve genuine change/acquire lasting new skills.

The Certified Master Coach Course -elite training in the use of evidence-based psychological methodologies:

The Behavioral Coaching Institute's invitational, fast-tracked Certified Master Coach Course (Self-Study, Campus or Distance Learning format) meets the critical needs for business and executive coaches to be trained and mentored in the use of validated, reliable psychology-based tools and techniques. 
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