VUCA – a need for greater support through Coaching?

  • Volatile
  • Uncertainty
  • Complexity
  • Anxiety

I posted a Linked in item last week after going to a conference, whilst still in shock after the Brexit vote and inferred it is nothing compared to the battle of the Somme. As that battle was 100 years ago and as we have been a very lucky generation after attending another conference this week I would like to use another comparison in a short while.

So what does VUCA (see the words above which adequately describes the UK at the moment) do to us as individuals? We feel excluded, anxious, lacking in control and inhibited by stress. Anxiety includes the survival instinct which isn’t always positive, dependency, desire to know why or for some people NOT to know why (burying their heads in the sand), and in this digitalised world everything is getting quicker causing even more stress.

So although the UK is in a VUCA state at the moment let’s for a minute compare our situation with Christchurch in New Zealand. In 2010 a substantial earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale rocked Christchurch. After 6 years they are still rebuilding with probably another 10 years to go before they are back to they are whole again. Kathryn Jackson presented this word “munted” which basically meant she didn’t have a house she didn’t have an office she didn’t have a job because she didn’t have any clients after this disaster. and that was how the majority of people were impacted.

What happens in this situation is liquefaction which we have seen a little of after floods when all of the essential systems underground are destroyed and become this disgusted liquid covering the ground. After 6 years, Christchurch is still recovering and the sense of community has been outstanding. The people of Christchurch have been the main stakeholders bringing together the rest of the stakeholders to ensure they have quality buildings and infrastructure going forward.

So what’s this got to do with the UK following Brexit? I think it puts things in perspective. As a coach, I am going to be braver and shout from the rooftops how I can support people and businesses get through some tricky times. When people are stressed, they panic and make bad decisions. Now is a time to reflect, plan, include all of the relevant stakeholders, make good decisions and follow them through.

Everybody in the UK will have a different view of where we are at the moment. How do companies budget for the next year when everything is changing around them? Owing to the uncertainty, I am already hearing companies saying they are cutting their training budget, at a time when they should be investing in their employees even more than usual. How are companies going to share their vision of the future with their employees?

Kathryn has a Model of Three Bridges which are the three stages of transition which including “finding and letting go”/ “neutral” /The New Beginning and this is all about feelings and internal stuff. I know a lot of us blokes won’t feel comfortable about this, but we all need to work these things out of our system whether it be anger, frustration, insecurity, nervousness and they are just my feelings! I know to coach people I need to be in a state which is supportive of people and I can’t afford my feelings to invade theirs.

I believe in a VUCA world more people and businesses will need a coach so they have somebody in a totally confidential environment to get things off their chest. The coach will listen intently and support their client to have a clear vision for the future and then act on it. Coaching has been a massive benefit in Christchurch and I believe coaching can be massive in the UK too over the next 2/3 years. If you need a coach who is a good listener and somebody who is comfortable challenging get in touch with

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