Coaching for a Leadership Change – Part II


Leadership isn’t easy. It never has and never will be. People are inherently difficult to deal with.

And sometimes leaders are the worst to deal with, even if they won’t admit it.

Preparing for Change

In my last blog post I encouraged leaders to show their followers how a change would benefit them or how staying static would be worse than the change you are asking them to make.

This time around I want to discuss the advantages to showing respect to other people’s points of view in order to make change more readily accepted.

People don’t follow by accident. They follow people who they respect.

It Takes Respect

John Maxwell, in his book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, states this:

“People naturally follow leaders stronger than themselves.”

If people don’t respect you, they won’t follow you.  It’s that simple.  This can be the reason for a lot of leaders having problems with people.  Somewhere along the way, people lost respect for them.

This can happen because of a variety of different circumstances.

It could be:

  • A decision that was made
  • A decision that was not made
  • A change that was implemented poorly

I remember working with an person who was very well-respected by his followers.  However, he made a decision that affected a lot of people without running it by them.

And because of it, people lost respect for him.

They stopped trusting in his decision-making and leading became a lot more difficult for him.

If he would’ve allowed those people into the decision-making process, things would have been a lot better for him.  People would have continued to respect him at the same level as before the decision.

Respect for Others

What this point illustrates is that people want to be respected.  This can be shown by allowing others to voice their opinion and letting them be a part of the change process.  One thing a lot of leaders forget is that people’s favorite voice is their own.

If they want people to respect them and agreeably change, they need to involve people in the process.

This doesn’t mean you have to agree with their thoughts or like them, but respecting them is a must.

In professional coaching, this is a necessity. As Christian Simpson, a leader in professional coaching says this:

“If we are going to influence someone to improve.., then we have to respect the model of the world they have now, and then assist them in changing it.”

Again, this doesn’t mean that we go along with what people think or like what they believe needs to change, but we respect the fact that they have an opinion.  Ultimately it is the leader’s responsibility to make the change but if they don’t first respect what other people think, it will not go over as well.

So How Does This Help?

As leaders, when we respect other people’s view of the world, it shows them that we don’t have a “my way or the highway” type of attitude.  It means we care about what they think, respect what they believe and that we want to make changes based on our surroundings and what is truly going on.

Basically, we aren’t making changes from our point of view only.

This conveys respect, and people will more readily change when they see that their thoughts were listened to and evaluated before the change was made.

Respecting Other’s World View 

Leaders must understand that their view of the world is just that, another point of view.  They begin to realize that it is the same way with everyone else.  Each person views their circumstances differently, just like the leader.  It is the leader’s responsibility to respect it as that, just another view of what is going on.

When others see someone doing this, they begin to respect that person more and allow them to influence what they are doing.  In other words, change becomes easier because they respect their leader enough to listen to what they have to say.

Q: Why is this?

A: Because the leader first respected others, which showed their followers they are worth following.

All in all, if you want others to change, you must respect what they think and show them that you do by being willing to find out what they are thinking.

Do you show others you respect them?  Do you listen to what others have to say before making a necessary change?  If you have lost respect from people, are you working to earn it back?


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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Bryan Wolff is Owner of Bryan Wolff Leadership & Business Strategies
He helps business professionals and their teams unleash their leadership instincts
Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Web | (218) 969-8057

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Coaching for a Leadership Change


One of the many issues surrounding leadership is how to inspire change in followers. Central to this idea is this question:

“What is the most effective way to get people to change?”

Chay Chay Chay Change….

This question comes up all the time when talking to leaders. And when the question is posed in a group, it usually leads to groans and mutterings of things like this:

“Human nature doesn’t like to accept change.”

And while many people make the answer to the questions surrounding change into a complex equation requiring a sophisticated answer, the simple answer to these questions by leaders to find the secrets of effectual change can be found in the famous quote by Ghandi:

“Be the change you want to see in the world”

But for many, this recital doesn’t give them the answer they are looking for because it goes too deep for their perceptions. It simply goes over their heads.

On Management and Leadership

Change is constant. Change is inevitable. And if you notice, it is continually going on whether we like it or not. In fact, John Maxwell often says that,

The difference between a manager and a leader is that a manager assumes things will stay the same, a leader assumes things will change.

This isn’t a criticism of managers, it is only advice on how to be an effective leader within a managerial role. We must, as leaders, learn to adapt and be flexible so that others will be willing to change as well.

Consciously Resistant to Change

However, consciously, people do not like change when made aware of it.

For example, telling employees that strategy ‘A’ is turning into strategy ‘B’ will typically cause people to resist the initiative. This happens even when strategy B is better. So what is a leader to do when people do not want to relinquishment old habits, processes, or procedures? But is this even the correct question to ask?

The real question then becomes this:

How do we lessen the resistance that is almost inevitable?

Lessening Resistance

A clear example of lessening one’s resistance to change can be found in one’s everyday life. This lesson what taught to me when I found out that my 4×4 utility vehicle had an inoperable gas gauge.

I found out quickly that I needed to change my reliance on one (inoperable) instrument indicator (gas gauge) on my instrument panel and move to another (tripometer) that provided accurate data for my travels.

While driving down the road, I do not have the ability to know the level of fuel in my gas tank. However, What I do know is that I do have a tripometer that tells me that my gas tank usually runs out around 300 miles. So to remedy the issue of not having accurate data conveyed to me through normal methodology (of a fuel guage,) I simply adapt to the suttoundings with the information that I have and make decisions baesd on new, dynamic metrics,

Essentially it is this: As soon as I see the tripometer hitting 280 miles, I fill up the tank with gas.

Reality Check

This personal change never bothered me. I fact, I found it more accurate to go with the measurements of the tripometer in my other car instead of the gas gauge now.

But if you were to have told me this:

“Today you are going to start using your tripometer to gauge when to fill up your gas tank (Strategy B) instead of your gas gauge (Strategy A)”

I would have resisted it.

I would have still used my gas gauge for as long as possible because, as thought leadership expert Christian Simpson believes, human nature is inherently resistant to change.

In fact, as leadership expert John Maxwell points out this: 

“Leaders are some of the most resistant people to change”.

Application of Theory

So how do we apply this to our leadership abilities and therefore ourselves and our teams?

The start of it begins with understanding the presupposition that human nature resists change when made aware of it. Now, that does not mean don’t tell your followers that change is coming because, as we all know, that is worse than telling them change is coming.

The best way to use this understanding is to look at the outcomes any given change will bring about. If people realize that the change will bring about the same outcome (not running out of gas in my case) or that the outcome is more beneficial than staying static (running out of gas in my case) then people will embrace change more readily.

In other words, don’t show people the features of the change first; begin with the benefits.

Coaching for a Change

This will help them not to focus on the change but, rather, the outcome-effectively bypassing conscious awareness of an actual change being made.

This is because when you can harness this practice in your business, department, or organization, you will be laying the ground working for coaching for a change in your leadership. You will also begin to see growth towards change in your team. They will not resist as much and they may even begin to enjoy the benefits that change can bring and readily embrace it.

I look forward to writing more about this in the future but for now, I look forward to seeing you rise to the head of the pack.

Are you willing to be the change you want your followers to embrace? Are you willing to take the time to show others how the change benefits them? Are you willing to show them how staying static will become a negative in their live? Could mastering coaching as a leader in your business/department/organization be what you need to rise to the head of the pack?


Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Bryan Wolff is Owner of Bryan Wolff Leadership & Business Strategies
He helps business professionals and their teams unleash their leadership instincts
Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Web | (218) 969-8057

Image Sources:


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