Effective change management requires leaders to embrace and model change. It also tasks them with defeating resistance to change in their organizations. Executive coaching can help leaders identify steps they must take to overcome resistance and win over the hearts and minds of employees and managers. 

Leaders and managers are advocates of change. Change is all around us. Our ability to adapt to it determines how successful we are as individuals and members of teams. However, we tend to resist change. Those supposed to guide us through change also tend to mismanage it. That’s why 70% of change programs fail. We like our comfort zones and are reluctant to leave them.

Leaders who successfully manage change can do so from the safety of their comfort zones. However, they often find themselves at the center of change processes. On the one hand, this allows them to lead through change by example. On the other hand, that may make it more difficult for them to advocate change.

Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.

Leadership coaching professionals understand, however, that great change leadership happens because of the strife leaders caught up in it experience. Leadership coaching can help leaders navigate change and defeat resistance to it.

Why Change Efforts Fail 

The first step towards addressing a problem is deciphering its nature. Why do change initiatives fail so often in the corporate space? Faulty change management is usually the culprit. Leaders and managers make up their minds about change. They commence the process from within their comfort zones. Safe from the negative emotional ramifications of change, they can’t relate to the factors that cause resistance.

  • Leaders may try to convince and persuade employees to find meaning and sense in the change they propose.
  • Some managers may even go as far as to “instruct” people to embrace the change company leadership envisions for them and the organization.
  • Leaders often don’t believe in the proposed change enough to invest in resources required for success.

How Executive Coaching Can Help

Successful change starts by eliciting positive emotions and motivating people to find personal meaning in it. From the point of view of executive coaching, successful change management is a three-step process:

  • Winning over the minds of those involved. Change must make sense. No one will commit emotional and material resources to a venture that doesn’t make sense.
  • Winning over hearts. Commitment and engagement stem from finding personal meaning in proposed change. People who find personal meaning in something find it easier to develop psychological ownership.
  • Inspiring action. Psychological ownership motivates people to translate positive feelings into positive actions. Inspired, motivated actions let change programs succeed.

Without accomplishing these objectives, leaders cannot defeat resistance to change. How can you win over the hearts and minds of employees and inspire them to become actively involved in your change efforts?


Authenticity is the universal language of trust. People understand it and are hardwired to trust authentic leaders. Leaders who show vulnerability by sharing challenges they meet when embracing change inspire followers to step in and help. Providing aid requires effort to understand problems. People tend to buy what they understand and shun what they don’t.


Taking action and committing requires inspiration. 

Intelligent leaders create clear visions and communicate compelling paths to positive futures. They convey a sense of optimism about where an organization or employees are heading. They also let people know how they will fit this vision and how their contributions can help deliver it.


Leadership coaching appreciates the power of leading by example. Effective leaders are visible and aware that successful change starts at the top. Before expecting employees to adopt change, leaders should embrace it themselves.


Effective change management doesn’t trickle down the organizational ranks unaided. Modeling change is a great start for leaders. However, they should also create opportunities for mid-level management to get involved. The same is true of individual contributors and other stakeholders.


Good change managers clarify their expectations regarding new behaviors to everyone. People should know where change takes them, how they can get there, and what they must do to facilitate smooth journeys. Business coaching values clarity of purpose for a reason. It’s a key facilitator of positive change.

Leaders are in the best positions to facilitate change throughout organizations. Executive coaching can help them identify the steps they must take to defeat resistance.


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