The term "transformational change" means different things to different people. Many leaders share a common desire to change others in their organization, to alter systems that no longer work well, or to bring about some kind of transformation in their organization. One thing is for certain; transformational change is profound and irreversible. Like the pupa that undergoes a metamorphosis and transforms into a butterfly; once transformed, there is no going back. Transformational change affects behaviour and relationships. It is distinguished by radical breakthroughs in beliefs, perceptions and attitudes. What was once seen as an obstacle now appears as an opportunity. Change that seemed impossible now happens quickly and easily. Transformational change focuses on the present. It does not dwell in the past but learns from it. It does not live in the future but plans for it by establishing goals and commitments. The power of transformational change is in being fully who we are, right now in this present moment. It follows then that the first step in transformational change is self-awareness; knowing who we are. Transformational change focuses on the positive, on the vision, on what we want to create, and on what's possible. It doesn't ignore what's wrong and what's not working, but rather balances those things with what is working and what is possible. Transformational change focuses on what is and lets go of the need to control what we cannot control. It is change that works in harmony with others and the world rather than against. It requires collaboration, commitment and skill. Transformational change engages both the heart and the mind. It moves beyond an analysis of facts and critical thinking and incorporates our values, our aspirations and our purpose. In so doing, it creates greater connection, compassion and trust. Transformational change begins with each one of us. Through self-awareness, connecting to our true potential and applying a coaching approach in relations with others, we all have the innate ability to change our game and bring about positive aliveness in ourselves, others, organizations, communities and society.
Coaching in the workplace has been proven to increase performance, morale, satisfaction and bottom line results. When leaders and human resources professionals approach their work with a coaching perspective, their interactions with others and their ability to lead is positively affected. Coaching has become a leadership attribute that is essential in today's dynamic environment and the need to integrate coaching competencies into one's repertoire will continue to grow in the future. There are several features of the coaching model that specifically work well for leaders in organizational settings to support learning and performance. One such critical factor is that the leader as coach holds the assumption that others are innately capable of problem solving, of making effective decisions and of performing at a high level. When the opposite is true and the leader as coach perceives someone as a mediocre performer, they tend to perform at a lower level. Either approach is a self-fulfilling prophesy. Creating an environment where employees are valued and viewed as whole people with lives outside of the organization is another key feature of the coaching model. Their agenda is important and they are encouraged to develop themselves in a way that is meaningful for them. This climate is conducive to employee satisfaction and high individual and organizational performance. The leader as coach supports others in cultivating their unique talents and in reaching their true potential. Other important features of the coaching model include listening, empathy, trust, challenging, self-management and intuition. These skills are among the least developed in organizations today. As the leader as coach develops these skills and applies them in their interactions with others, their influence and connections greatly improve. As organizations continue to rely more on accomplishing tasks through others, it is vital to their sustainability that they empower leaders and employees to harness their talents to their fullest potential.