Brexit: In the wake of the UK referendum, how important and valuable is coaching now? Have your say...

All our futures have changed – whether for the better or for the worse – we are now waiting to see what the consequences will be as the details, known and unknown, start to come through. This is democracy.

Many will be grappling with what this means and how it may impact on their jobs, roles, relationships with each other (colleagues and families), and the future. What is perceived by one side as being simple and with many opportunities; others perceive as complex and unnecessary risk taking, especially when there currently lacks any strategy or plan on how to move forward for all of society, rather than one part of society.  And these are real issues and challenges that will dominate many of the conversations in the coming days, weeks and months.

While reported analysis is typically focused on the broader categories such as education, age, geographical location, salary, employment status, no one has really addressed the individual responses and reasons of why this is happening. And this is what we do as coaching practitioners, this is our ‘bread and butter’; and it’s important we are also equally equipped to handle, both personally and professionally, what’s shared in these conversations. 

We think we really do have a role, a mandate even from society, to support individuals, peers and groups to find and share their voice and to be listened to, and heard in a way that offers fair opportunities for individuals to continually reach and grow their potential.

At the good coach, we’d like to ask you what your thoughts are and let us listen to what you want to say. Using these responses we will write a fair and reflective blog-article that shares our voices, thoughts, and suggestions over the next week, month or even few months, and share with readers (ours and yours) - coaches, practitioners working in organisations, generally interested individuals, leaders. 

If you’re ready to have your say click this button now:


 What we know so far

the good coach, and many of us who participate in the community, are still in shock and still processing the results of the UK referendum after finding out early on Friday morning that the UK was leaving the EU, and are now waiting for Article 50 to be triggered, or if it will be invoked at all. 

Events just in the last few days – and more to come, we (those in the UK) have:

  • Been voted out of the EU (with REMAIN strong in cities) - "a dramatic demonstration of democracy that highlights the great divide in Britain and consequences in EU as all are operating in unchartered waters". And it shows the divide between political class, education and generation.

  • Lost a Prime Minister, and there is a Tory campaign going on to find his replacement which may lead to an early general election. A vacuum in leadership and direction, even a workable strategy, from the Leave campaigners because they never really thought their campaign would succeed. There is disarray within the Labour Party and the first Minister of Scotland is looking for independence.

  • A civil service, which has perhaps 12 senior members who have the skills to negotiate bilateral agreements and more who need to go onto training courses, or find other places to implement the unknown strategy/course to be set by the next PM. This also includes increased workload, which was formally carried out in the EU, with decreased human resources.

  • Financial services are quietly implementing their contingency plans to move to other locations because they know that their clients do not want to be exposed to the uncertainty and risk that now exists in the UK, which is definitely an opportunity for others. And this will have knock-on effects for everyone whether it's around less public spending or higher taxes because they are dependent on the EU passport.

  • All sides of the debate completely misread the sentiments of the British public for how they would be using this vote to be more vocal around the discontent towards the British government with the #regrexit i.e. whilst voting to Leave they thought they'd still remain. What promises will be kept; how EU funding can really be maintained; what is the role of the expert; and how do you "heal" the tensions that are visible between perceived immigrants, immigrants and locals?

Our current search for understanding or beginning to understand a little more of what’s really happening might be explained by this infographic from the Lord Ashcroft Polls:


What does this mean for our future – how uncertainty will hit everyone – especially businesses, careers and jobs

The future has been changed, and something that we never thought would occur in our lifetime has, and we’re wondering what the consequences will really be. The government, at least, had enough foresight in 1997, and granted operational independence over monetary policy to the Bank of England. We’re all grappling in different ways with the loss of control that we thought we had and the principles that we believe in, which also fundamentally underpin coaching. This referendum has really questioned our resolve towards coaching... and what does this mean for coaching?

Tomorrow when people walk into work in the morning, how are they, or even you, going to manage their anxiety with respect to their work, identity, family and future? Especially as we all work internationally.

What we've heard already and has been put forward:

  • Where will work go in the financial services, and who's going to mobilise and become that country's immigrant if they want to keep their role?

  • Real concerns for job security in the Civil Service whose role was to translate relevant EU law into British law, as well the immense changes for the Civil Service itself.

  • Concerns for small business owners and white collar workers in various size organisations – with the lack of investment in businesses there is higher job insecurity.

  • Personal security and heightened anxiety of Brexit-related racial abuse.

  • Immense pressure on a reduced Civil Service which is expected to start negotiations even though there is a significant gap in delivery and that expected professionalism to just be able to get on with the mandate.

  • Working with the younger generation who think that the older generation has taken away their choice of future because it's seen as in their best interest because they have lived through those forty years and have seen that it hasn’t worked for them.

    A scenario we can see is coaching with high potentials, who typically fall into the younger generation age bracket. How might an older executive coach who is perceived to have voted to
    Leave affect the coaching relationship?


Your thoughts – Does Coaching have something to bring to help?

We'd like to ask you for your thoughts and with these responses we'll write a reflective blog-article that shares our voices, thoughts, and suggestions through the good coach over the next week, month or even few months, and share with readers (ours and yours)  - coaches, practitioners working in organisations, generally interested individuals, leaders - the following:

  1. Do you think the Referendum will have an impact on your practice? Why?

  2. What advice/coaching do you want to give other professionals going through this uncertainty?

  3. What advice would you give to other coaching practitioners who will be working with their clients during through this uncertainty?

Please share your own reactions and thoughts by clicking the link below and hopefully we'll receive enough feedback and responses to begin sharing in the next few days.

We’ll be looking to share and reviewing how our responses develop.

We also appreciate that what we've shared may not impact directly some who are not in the UK and EU. However, as coaches we are always working with professionals who work through uncertainty and unchartered waters. Drawing from your experiences what would you share?

the good coach aims to be a living platform for independent views, and contributions about how coaching can make important contributions to our lives … there is a real need, or opportunity for this in the changes that are taking place in life, society and communities around the world. Brexit shows the importance and challenges involved in bringing views together more than ever…..

Written by Yvonne Thackray (on behalf of the good coach)