When someone changes as a result of coaching, does it always “stick”? I got an email from an exec the other day, I had done coaching for one of her managers around communication challenges. She opened by saying she noticed marked improvement but recently the individual seemed to be going back to his old habits. Yeah, this can happen. What we do (our behaviors) are shaped by deeply held beliefs. And despite our best efforts to alter the messages that lead to “unhelpful” behaviors, people do sometimes go back. Picture it like a spring. If I have a spring and I unwind it there will be a natural tension – a desire by the spring to go back to its original shape. In psychology we call that “homeostasis”.
We can make lasting change, of course, but it often requires that we adopt ways to reinforce the change. In this case that means we’re going to establish periodic “touch base” meetings to check progress. This can be very helpful on a number of levels. If you check back in with your coach on a regular basis it’s like having an accountability partner to keep you on track.
Wishing you all success!