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Westside Toastmasters is located in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, California

Chapter 3: Motivation to Change


One of the most important factors in initiating change is helping learners explore their reasons for wanting to change. Equally essential is that learners need to own and want the change. As a coach you can help an individual explore the options but ultimately individuals have to make up their own mind that they actually want that change. Everyone is different and so as a coach you need to be able to help all your different learners progress at the pace and speed that suits them. As part of this process it is important that you understand the process of change.

One of the biggest issues for individuals is time; they simply do not believe that they have the time to achieve what they want. There is also a constant juggling between what they would like to do and what they feel that they have to do, and personal development often drops down the priority order in the list. This is not just an issue for individuals; it is often reflected in the ways that organizations charge individuals with meeting business goals rather than achieving a balance between personal and organizational goals.

One very important part of any change process is the motivation to change. From an individual, team or organizational perspective, if the motivation to change is low, the chances of success are going to be limited. Individuals also have different approaches to change. In relation to the stages of change below, some individuals will be proactive while the approach of others will be more considered.

Some individuals will be enthusiastic about change; others will be more cautious. When faced with options and choices some will be able to create their own solutions while others will need more support. Some people prefer to work on their own, while their colleagues may be naturally more collaborative. When faced with overcoming setbacks some individuals will feel overwhelmed and want to give up, while others will rise to the challenge and look for solutions. For a coach working with individuals or teams it is important to identify the potential different responses so that you can support individuals by helping them to recognize where their preferences lie and how to respond best to the opportunities and challenges presented by the change process.

When trying to make significant changes in work or life it is all too easy to express a desire to change without the underpinning motivation to make it happen. In an ideal scenario the organizational and team goals should complement the personal development goals of an individual. Where there is synergy, individuals feel much more motivated to respond to the challenges and opportunities in their working environment.

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