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Coaching through Transition – Supporting People back to Work as we move Beyond Lockdown

Coaching through Transition – Supporting People back to Work as we move Beyond Lockdown

There’s no doubt the past year has presented most organisations with a huge number of challenges as people converted to home-based working, organisations and managers have had to respond by reviewing policies, adapting rules, regulations, even contracts and managing people and teams in innovated and of course virtual ways!

Coaching as an approach, management style and philosophy has certainly come into its own during this period where, especially during the last Lockdown, people have been in an extremely fragile and exhausted state.

Now organisations and their management are having to consider how they move people ‘back’ to work or perhaps, as in most case, move people into a longer-term flexible working style.

Whatever your own organisation or businesses perspective is on ‘easing out of lockdown’ you will no doubt need to consider the impact of the past 12 months and find ways to make the transition as smooth, positive and of course productive as possible.

Again, this is a perfect time to employ a ‘coaching mentality’ and embodied some of the key principles coaches work with…
Some key elements of a coaching approach relevant here might include: 

  • Ask don’t tell
  • Listen more, speak less
  • Seek to help people find solutions not barriers
  • Small steps lead to big wins over time

A few tips for managers to consider:

  1. Everyone is an individual – a coaching style of leadership embraces uniqueness, talk to each person and come up with a transition plan that suits them and their circumstances remain flexible.
  2. Work from an empathetic viewpoint – some people will be delighted to step back into a communal space, keen to be ‘close’ to colleagues, even desperate for that contact, yet others will be fearful, nervous and uncomfortable, better to engage and bring people with you then force a new regime too fast.
  3. Help people set their own goals around the transition – this gives a sense of ownership and empowerment which managers can review at regular 1-2-1s.
  4. Get the team talking – people get anxious or resentful when they see others operating differently, encourage team communications so that everyone understands each other’s perspective.
  5. Facilitate ‘coach style’ a team plan – help the team undertake an analysis, perhaps by rating different elements of the transition such as working hours and patterns, time in the office, task allocation and so on.
  6. Adjust – be prepared for a few sticky moments while people adjust, as is only too clear whilst there is a current sense of things getting better this could shift backwards later in the year, bringing disappointment and frustration, think about how you can support the team beyond the simple transition arrangements and promote a culture of resilience and well-being.
  7. Finally, don’t forget yourself – everyone needs support during transition, make sure you know how you can get assistance if needed, look to your support system to help you navigate the transition from your perspective too.
We offer ILM Coaching and Mentoring qualifications at levels 2, 35 and 7 including coaching supervision. We also offer ILM Leadership and Management qualifications at levels 2, 35 and 7
Follow any of the links above that are of interest for full information and feel free to reach out to us if you’d like to chat through your options to see what’s right for you. You can email us at or call us on 0800 0938 419.

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