Coaching for Change in Role ~ Leader as Coach: When to use a Coach Approach

change in roleOften in organisations, the scope and scale of a person’s role can change.  That may be part of a reorganisation so not necessarily welcome, or, more welcome, to give the employee extra capacity to learn and grow.

As this person’s leader, we may need to teach them first, before we can use more of a coach approach.  There may be new processes to learn, new ways of operating.  So a bit of direction will be important in the first instance.

Assuming this is a motivated, performing individual, you can then move into using more of a coach approach, to enable them to figure out next steps themselves.


Grasp those opportunities for growth & learning

Alongside the task element though, there is the psychological change that the individual will need to work through. It’s ideal if the manager coaches their team member through the stages of transition;

  • Asking questions that help the employee to deconstruct the old, recognise the losses and celebrate the endings
  • Find their way through the uncertainty and doubt
  • Make a good beginning

Expecting the employee to just get on with it is missing an opportunity for growth and learning.

An internal executive coach can also be useful

Of course, if it’s the boss that is changing, the employee will want to talk to someone neutral, so might choose an internal executive coach to help them to figure out how to get good closure with their old boss, and make a good start with their new boss.

In the case of a new location, that may also be better dealt with by an internal or external coach, as there may be many personal issues to sort out as well, such as where to live, children’s schooling, spouse’s needs etc.

Whoever the employee chooses to support them, there will be plenty to think about – and doing that with a sounding board will make the process more thorough, such that things don’t come back to bite the employee for lack of consideration.

You may benefit from reading other blogs in my ‘When to use a Coach Approach’ series, here are links to a couple of them:

Leader as Coach: When to use a Coach Approach ~ Re-joining the Workforce

Leader as Coach: When to use a Coach Approach ~ Coaching Someone who is Moving Roles Internally