Construction professionals need climate change coaching

Climate change engagement is a problem in construction because everyone thinks someone else is going to do it – but no one does it effectively. This is where coaching comes in, writes David Stockdale.
climate change coaching
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Through its global influence and membership, CIOB has a tremendous opportunity to positively influence construction’s net-zero strategy by embracing climate change coaching.

In their book, Climate Change Coaching: The Power of Connection to create climate action, Charly Cox and Sarah Flynn explain what this type of coaching is and how it can be implemented.

This form of coaching has several components that are different to more traditional coaching.

It encourages us to think about relationships at a system level, rather than just at an individual level. It also recognises the role of psychology in tackling climate change. So rather than putting the climate into a technical box, it works with people’s emotional needs.

Importantly, this type of coaching addresses not only individual’s sense of powerlessness, but their lack of belief that the system can change too.

Pyschological barriers

CIOB can encourage and facilitate change in attitudes to the climate crisis by looking through three strategic lenses.

First, by understanding the psychological barriers to change and how to address them.

Second, by developing new perspectives on how individual change leads to systems change. Which is where CIOB’s global membership, international partnerships and the CIOB Academy come in.

And finally, by thinking strategically about now its membership can create social change. This is addressed through CIOB’s latest corporate plan.

Climate change coaching can be a tool to facilitate the necessary change mechanisms and required engagement across the global built environment. This can mitigate against apathy and a sense of powerlessness in individuals about their ability to deal with the climate change threat to our world.

David Stockdale is a fellow of CIOB and a chartered environmentalist.

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