FPG one-to-one coaching case study
Reviewing communication style to become established as a valued member of the organisation
Finance Manager with FMCG Company
What was the trigger that resulted in FPG being asked to work with the coachee?
Whilst technically very capable and recognised as a āhigh potentialā, J had a very cynical approach and outlook that was adversely affecting her dealings with others, especially in meetings with her superiors. As a result, Jās manager was keen for her to have some coaching to address her development areas.
What was the current reality at that time?
The company was in the process of restructuring and head count was being reduced so there was a great deal of uncertainty in the business. J was not particularly concerned whether she stayed with the company or not ā and made this known. Her manager, however, did not want the business to lose Jās talents and identified that J needed to work on her interpersonal skills, simplifying and improving her communication style. J was perceived as negative and very reactive, rather than proactive. Jās interpersonal style was not respected, although she was widely given credit for her skills and knowledge.
Was this requirement for skilling and/or performance enhancement and/or development and/or something else?
The coaching focused on all three areas ā skilling, performance enhancement and development. J was putting herself at a disadvantage within the business due to her poor interpersonal skills, yet she was a valuable asset that the business didnāt want to lose.
What was the āidealā that the coachee was aiming for?
- J wanted to improve her reputation within the company and, even if she was amongst those to leave the organisation, wanted to go out on a high
- Jās bossās wanted J to be respected throughout the company and for people to recognise and appreciate her unique strengths and capabilities.
The Diagnostic Approach
Which, if any, assessment tools were used?
J completed a 360Ń assessment and sought feedback from peers, her line manager and her direct reports. The results formed the basis of much of the subsequent coaching. Insights, a powerful personality profiling psychometric, was also used.
What FPG systems were put in place to help the diagnostic process?
- An initial three-way session took place between J, her boss and Jās coach
Which other tools and techniques were used at the ādiagnosticā stage?
A combination of tools and techniques were used at the diagnostic stage (and were continually used throughout the coaching). These were:
- FPG Behaviour Change Tools and Techniques: a set of coaching techniques that help the coachee address, analyse and modify behaviour
- Innate Leadership Techniques: a set of coaching techniques that enable the coachee to examine and shift their perspectives and mindset
- CIGAR: a coaching model that encourages the coachee to focus on creating a strong picture of the Ideal and then putting actions in place to plug the gaps
- Transactional Analysis: a model that identifies the coacheeās ego state in interactions ā whether parent, adult or child ā allowing the coachee to understand how their ego state affects their interactions and how to change their ego state so that they become proactive, rather than reactive, in situations
- Visioning Exercises: exercises in which the coachee creates alternative mental pictures for and of themselves to help them visualise their ideal
- NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) Techniques
- Laser Questioning
- Deep Listening
- Reflecting Back
- Challenging Questions.
This coachās general approach to diagnosis
I use tools and techniques from the outset as they quickly help to establish the current situation and build awareness, essentially enabling the coachee to ādiagnoseā themselves. I then often use the same tools and techniques to aid and accelerate the coaching process.
The Tools that were Applied to the Coaching
Which specific tools and techniques were used during the coaching programme and why were they chosen for this particular coachee?
The tools and techniques selected for this particular coachee were as per the list above. Each tool proved invaluable in different ways. Insights helped J to understand her strengths, weaknesses and development areas. It also allowed her to review her existing communication style and provided fundamental insights into how she could flex her style when communicating with others. J needed to be seen to be different in meetings and as a consequence, she needed to work on her body language. The visioning exercises and NLP techniques were ideally placed to help J imagine and create the new, more positive person that she wished to be, and with mental and physical practise of this within her coaching sessions, she was then able to apply the same thinking in her business interactions. CIGAR enabled J to identify and focus on her ideal as well as address the gaps that were preventing her from being the person she wished to be. The other techniques ā deep listening, laser questioning, etc. ā helped to clarify Jās core beliefs and hone in on the areas that needed to be challenged in order for J to make the positive changes she wanted to.
What were the benefits of these?
Using this range of tools suited Jās different learning styles ā visual and auditory. They broadened the appeal of the learning, brought it āaliveā and accelerated the effectiveness of the coaching. By applying various tools and techniques, the sessions were much more effective than if the issues had simply been talked through.
How was the coaching delivered?
Through a series of extended face-to-face coaching sessions (each lasting 2-3 hours).
What āhomeworkā was set?
Jās homework was to practise what she had learned in the sessions, i.e. to be the positive person that she had created for herself in the sessions. She was also tasked to give authentic praise more often, and to keep a record of the occasions on which she did so.
Is there anything else about the way in which this person was coached that proved fundamental to the shifts s/he made?
J needed a combination of an incredibly supportive and challenging coach. By being a combination of both, Jās coach was able to help her examine those core beliefs that were affecting her behaviour and interpersonal style and really challenge her to re-examine what she believed to be true.
What results did the coachee achieve?
At the end of the coaching sessions, J was much more positive and felt that she was establishing herself as a valued resource throughout the business. Jās boss was no long around to āfight her cornerā and to justify his belief in J to the rest of the business: she now had to do this for herself, and was able to do so. J was thrilled with the progress she had made.
How were the achievements measured/verified?
Jās boss left the business before the end of Jās coaching programme, but at the mid-way evaluation, he stated that he had seen an enormous improvement in Jās style and interactions ā she was far less cynical and much more positive in meetings with her superiors and with others in the business. Others from across the organisation had made a point of speaking to Jās boss about the positive difference they had seen in Jās behaviour.
To what extent can their achievements be attributed to the work that s/he did with their coach?
The coaching played a large part in Jās transformation. She was at a very vulnerable stage in her life and career and needed the space to explore what she was doing, who she was being and where she wanted to be, both within the business and outside of it. The coaching gave her the opportunity to explore and address these areas and gave her a much-needed, objective and external perspective, helping her to re-evaluate what she wanted out of life and work.
What has been put in place to ensure that the coacheeās achievements are sustained in the longer term?
A follow-up 360Ń assessment took place one year after J completed her first 360Ń assessment. This allowed J and her coach to measure progress made and to identify any remaining development gaps.