THE COACH APPROACH
“Whereas mentors dole out words of wisdom, coaches roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty… they get in the arena to help us realize our potential.” - Wharton Psychologist Adam Grant
Coaching can turn willing managers into change-makers and executives.
Team Coaching Case Study
Ar 360, we know there are no quick fixes in team development. Only a programmatic approach delivered through a range of thoughtful interventions helps to achieve a real shift in team performance.
Moreover, team coaching needs to avoid being “event driven,” for instance lurching from one offsite event to another. Instead it must be an ongoing journey with a mixture of interventions designed to maximize the performance of the team over a sustained period — typically six to nine months.
The executive team of a tech start up company needed to move their organization from a functionally focused business unit to a customer-facing entity while maintaining performance levels and improving both customer satisfaction and customer engagement levels. We worked with them as team coaches through a seven stage process to provide a framework for understanding the behaviors of a cohesive team, to clarify the team’s purpose, understand the strengths as well as the skills gap within the team, explore key stakeholders and customers, provide individual coaching, and finally to transfer the coaching role to the team leader.
Transferring team coaching skills to the leader meant the team’s eventual independence from the coach, and self-sufficiency in taking its performance to higher levels. There are no magic bullets in this process and many things contribute to success. However during the period of coaching, the team managed to impressively push forward its business agenda. Their financial results improved and this gave them the breathing space to invest in building the underlying health of their organization for long term sustainability.
Leadership Coaching Case Study
360 coaching engagements usually begin with one or multiple types of assessment instruments (DiSC, Myers Briggs, Strengths-Finder) to create a baseline understanding as a building block to self-awareness.
A CEO who was struggling with her impact at work was losing her enthusiasm and was on the verge of burnout. The instrument results helped build her self-awareness as we focused on her interpretation and meaning-making of various events. She discovered she gained satisfaction by delivering concrete results; inspiring others; and paying attention to relationships. She also yearned for more support from her Board of Directors, collective accountability and team cohesion from her staff. She was stuck between the top and the bottom. These emerged as key priorities and goals to work on to regain her satisfaction.
The coaching sessions helped with clarity and awareness about her thoughts, feelings, and motivations, as initial steps toward intentional change. Through coaching, she experienced a perspective shift examining hidden assumptions and unconscious biases, which in turn prepared her for the second phase of our evidence-based coaching program, goal setting.
She decided that the key action toward her leadership goal was to have a difficult conversation with her Board Chair and to share the insights she had gained during the coaching process to build support for the things she still wanted to accomplish in her role.By role-playing the conversation through a re-framed lens of self-doubt to self-belief, she created a plan with her Board Chair based on a shared vision for the organization and greater impact in her leadership role.
Leadership Development Case Study
As a senior leader in a professional services firm, I was under consideration for promotion. However, I had a reputation as a competitive leader who knew how to get the job done but lacked empathy for my team. I needed to build strong strategic relationships with my team and my peers across the company. This required me to modify my leadership style, emphasizing collaborative skills and softening my competitive style.
Through a discovery and assessment process where the 360 team interviewed seven of my peers across the firm and administered a DiSC leadership assessment, they compiled information in a feedback report, which made it apparent I needed to do some repair work to improve several of my peer relationships. Over a year of individual coaching, I focused on mastering new leadership skills and utilizing those skills to strengthen my relationships with senior colleagues across the firm. In addition to the coaching sessions 360 met with the CEO once a quarter to assess my progress. At the end of twelve months, my colleagues confirmed that they had seen substantial changes in my openness to others’ ideas and my ability to manage conflict. Two of my peers commented specifically on the work I had done to rebuild my relationships with them. The CEO had also noted the improvement.
Within three months, my promotion was announced, and I am still there today.