A Research Paper By Fiona Shaw, Transformation Coach, UNITED KINGDOM
Change Manager Interview With Tineke Tammes
Fiona Shaw: thank you for being my interviewee for my ICA research paper. As you are the person that introduced me to ICA I thought it’d be great for us to re-touch base. What about what your job was before you came a coach?
Tineke Tammes: I worked as a business change manager for over 15 years, first as an employee, and then as a contractor.
Fiona Shaw: And what is your coaching nice now? Why did you select this?
Business Change Manager
Tineke Tammes: What would have been logical is that I would have moved into some sort of change coaching role, but I decided not to. I spent over 25 years working in the corporate world, and I had so many things that I want to do and I never did them. I went through a whole transformational journey from where I was to the career that I’m now building. I support professional women in making career transitions, in making career changes to their careers. My services are going to be expanding next year to incorporate career coaching. So not so much career change, coaching, but also career development.
Fiona Shaw: Sounds exciting and I’m sure it’s going to go great places. The reason I’d like to interview you is to talk a bit around that link, we’re both change managers looking at using our coaching skills. When I started, doing change, I felt that the term change was used incorrectly like on people’s CVs, etc. And I’m starting to notice the same as around coaching. Do you feel the term coaching is often misused in the corporate change world?
Tineke Tammes: Yeah. My cynical self would say, coaching in change is sometimes used to mean let’s see if we can be nice to people so that we move them through change quickly so that they do quicker what we want them to do. I think the way we’ve been taught about coaching as a skill is not used very often in the corporate world. It is the skill of really helping people to make their own decisions on how to you want and build on their own, on their knowledge and their potential. If I’m honest, in change, we all know that coaching is the right way to go to help people make individual transitions. I think that in change as a change manager, you don’t often have the chance to help people do that. It’s because you’re so busy building comms plans and training plans and working with your networks, that there’s not a lot of time left to see the actual transition happen, especially the individual transitions. It’s one of the reasons also why I went from change management into individual coaching because you can see the aha moments, which you don’t often get a chance to see in change management. I think we are underusing the potential for line managers to do coaching, we don’t train them enough to coach their staff. They are in the best position to coach their employees. But I don’t think we put a lot of emphasis on giving them the actual skills to be able to do that.
Do You Think Change Management and Coaching Blend Well Together?
Fiona Shaw: I can relate, some of my next questions will come to that. We learn at ICA about pure coaching but if we were to think about more of a blended approach do you think change management and coaching blend well together?
Tineke Tammes: Yes, I would have liked to have seen more of it. I think change management is to be able to give others the skills to support, you know, to coach their staff. There’s not enough emphasis on that from my liking. I’ve worked in organizations where there was more opportunity to do that sort of stuff. And that was well appreciated by the people themselves, not so much by the senior managers necessarily. So that was an interesting one as well. So yes, I do think it goes well together. But I do think that time constraints and the expectations of managers, of senior managers, are often a restriction on being able to fully incorporate it.
Fiona Shaw: It’s very true. My niche is going to be transformation coaching and I see myself at this point blending it with my change role. As someone who has experienced both worlds do you have any advice that you could share with me?
Tineke Tammes: It depends a little bit on how you are looking to do that. Because if it is part of the change management role, building that coaching element into your plans, is probably where the best fit sets. But I think there’s a whole education piece around that, too, for people to understand why you’re doing that stuff, and why it is so important, and depending on the organization that you work in or work with, there’s going to be different levels of maturity around change management, but also around coaching.
Potentially you’re going to struggle if you want to coach as part of your change management. function. Whilst if you have a very change mature organization and understand the potential benefits of coaching employees, then it becomes an easier sell.
Need to start with – where is this organization? Because sometimes, you go into an organization where someone has said, ‘you have to have a change manager’, but they don’t want it. They don’t understand it and you have to explain it 100 times. So it’s almost like an evil that they are burdened with and they don’t want to know. It becomes much harder to be part of something they don’t understand in the first place. It’s not just educating. Need to show the benefits of coaching and a coaching approach as part of change management, I think that is the challenge.
The Benefits of Coaching and a Coaching Approach as Part of Change Management
Fiona Shaw: I see coaching benefiting people leaders, as you’ve already mentioned they are a key group. For me, people that are asked to deliver the change are not aligned. If somebody is not in the right headspace, aka open to change they’re not able to lead and make change real. What from your coaching benefited people leaders?
Tineke Tammes: Leading change with your staff is one of the key leadership competencies. Leading people and managing change require them to get their heads around that and then actually seeing that they’ve got a capability gap that needs to be filled is a big step.
How often have you been in an organization where you bring about change or introduce change and people are against it? They’re resistant. For them to accept the support from a project team, who helped them come to grips with the fact there’s a change coming and that they might not have the leadership skills that are required to manage that change is a big step. To accept the help from that same project team
More often than not, they are just trying to keep the ship afloat. And then there’s this annoying change coming in, which is going to upset it all. Managing that relationship and seeing you can overcome that, and provide support requires lots of trust in the change team in this case.
Fiona Shaw: Throughout my coaching, most of my coaching has been with coaches and we’ve got a lot of self-awareness. It’s about that education, any thoughts of how would you envision, or you could think about ways to increase take-up of internal coaching opportunities?
Tineke Tammes: I have never done individual one-to-one coaching, like we learn to do in ICA, with individual line managers. What I have done in the past, and that’s worked relatively well, was to have a group of line managers come to a group coaching session, in which we engaged them in how are you personally feeling about change? Also, what level of self-awareness do you have about yourself? And then how can you use some support with your staff to go through change? That’s worked.
What needs to be in play is to get the buy-in from the senior managers beforehand. To agree of a group of people to be out of the office for an afternoon and to invest in this. That is often a hurdle. There are not many times that I’ve been able to give that due to lack of sign-up from senior managers, or there hasn’t been the time effectively to take people out of the office. They need half a day to help them relax, understand what change in general means, and how they can equip themselves to help themselves and others.
I have found that people need more than a one-to-one conversation. They need more structure they want a program; they want a sort of a guideline because they have not got self-awareness. The idea of what is required, what is where, where the gaps are for them. In the beginning, when I started coaching, I was a bit looser with what I offered, leaving it more to them. But most of the feedback I got was no, I want that step by step. You can deliver that in collaboration with your clients. So if you were to do one-to-one coaching with a client, then you could develop that together upfront, potentially.
The Difference Between the Change Manager and the Coach
Fiona Shaw: For me, that’s the difference between the Change Manager and the coach. A Change Manager is more directional.g.send the comms, do the training. Coach is around them. In my coaching model that I’ve created, what is the situation? Where do you think you’re at? What were your concerns? What do you see as blockers? And then what would you do if you didn’t have any of those limits? How would the change look for you? How could this transformation look for you? And then thinking about where’s the middle ground.
As a change manager, I see that there’s no one-size-fits-all the same with coaching. A commonality I see between the two because if I go in as a coach, and I coach every person the same, we’re not going to get the same outcomes. And the same goes for the aspects of change. Right?
Tineke Tammes: What I found with my career coaching, especially last year, was when I have an intake conversation, I identify the key things e.g.it’s a confidence thing with you, and then we will build a program off the back of that. I still have a process, but based on their needs, rather than to say okay we’re starting to do this then that?
For career change, you can start writing your CV and your LinkedIn profile. But actually, wouldn’t it be better if you first knew, what you wanted to do. There is a certain order to things. You’ve got to go deep inside yourself and understand what your strengths are your skills and your values. Plus you got to understand why you got yourself stuck and where you need to get unstuck before you go out and say, this is what I want, I’m now going to go out and get it. There is a certain order to things, but within that, there is still a lot of flexibility.
Fiona Shaw: Yeah, having my aha moment that’s exactly what I want to do. Identifying strengths and getting people to do that is useful. What have been your biggest learnings since qualifying as a coach, is there any other things that you would call out or like to share?
Tineke Tammes: So if you were to move into coaching, being a transformational coach, and want to do more of that, rather than being a change manager and incorporating coach, the business side of things, is taken time.
Don’t be attached to the outcome of your coaching. On the other hand, you have to be able to get customers, and you’ve got to show results. You’ve got to tell people what it is that you do. And, that’s a conundrum. I can’t say at the end of the three months together, you will have the job of your dreams. It’s not guaranteed by any means. And so that is what the dilemma is because your marketing and business building side has got to show results, your coaching, so your side should not be attached to the results.
Fiona Shaw: That works internally, too. More pressure when you’re trying to generate your income.
The world has changed and I think coaching is a great additional skill. The idea of education and programs is amazing. I still would like to be able to prove the results and have case studies.
Group coaching is another idea then if someone said you’ve sparked a few things, it would be good to maybe do some one-on-one sessions.
Thank you so much for your time, I enjoyed our conversation.
Tineke Tammes: Thank you for asking me, I wish you all the best.