Florence is a Change Leadership Coach based in Johannesburg, South Africa. She comes with twenty years of experience contributing and leading organisation strategy and change management projects across multiple industries.
What motivated you to become a change leadership coach?
My greatest motivation was giving back. I realised I have so much experience in leading change both as a change specialist and having experienced and overcome significant change challenges in my own life. I just felt it is such a necessary skill to help people build, both as leaders and in their own life.
What is the difference between change management and change leadership?
Change management and change leadership are related, sort of like in-laws! Change Leadership refers to leading change and this applies not only to positional leadership but to all levels of leadership. So you could be a Programme Manager, Project Manager, Change Manager, HR Manager. The competencies of a Change Leader apply to all in a position to lead the change. Most significantly, the difference between being a business as usual leader and now leading change is that your behaviour and values are on show, people emulate what the leader is doing so it is very important to lead by example. Its like being centre stage in the theatre of change, you have the microphone!
Change Management is the tactical and operational activities carried out in order to successfully lead and land change. So Change leadership also involves the oversight of change management activities. Change management strategy is developed by the Change leaders and carried out through change management activities.
What do you typically talk about with a prospective client during a free discovery session?
First and foremost, I seek to understand why the client is there - what they hope to achieve and what are their pain points? I also introduce myself and my personal and business background to give them an understanding of the experience I have and why they can trust me. It is vital to build a relationship of respect and trust in the discovery session.
Tell us about one of your most impactful coaching client engagements on CoffeeChat.
The client approached me directly and in the first session, I asked her why she chose me. Her response was humbling, she had observed my willingness to jump into unknown business and personal situations throughout my life and believed I had the right instincts to help her. She was a very accomplished business leader and wanted to take herself to the next level. She participated in my 6-session programme which especially designed for ambitious women who wish to accomplish their goals. The programme was very impactful for her as she set and executed on clear goals and she continues to excel. My joy comes in seeing the result of their hard work and knowing I contributed to their success is a wonderful reward!
How does your coaching style differ between your group vs 1-on-1 sessions?
In my 1-on-1 sessions, I am very focused on the individual and the conversation extends beyond the session into offline discussions, support, and weekly tips. I am always available to my 1-on-1 clients as I understand their needs and help them to progress. I also hold them accountable for their progress.
In Group Coaching, I try to bring as much discussion into the session as possible as people learn from each other as well. The level of engagement in group sessions is very person-dependent but I try to open up as much as possible to create the safe space people need to contribute and learn. I provide offline guidance to those who ask for it. I prefer not to create a Whatsapp group as I find people may not want it as they already have too many and many are shy to leave groups!