FPG one-to-one coaching case study
Top talent re-energised and retained
Editorial Director for Newspaper Publisher
What was the trigger that resulted in FPG being asked to work with the coachee?
M had reached a crossroads in his career. Although he had been identified as a high potential within the business, he was feeling stuck and was thinking of leaving the company for a new environment and challenge. His boss, eager to retain him, sponsored his coaching to help him get a fresh perspective, explore new avenues and clarify the direction he wanted to head in.
What was the current reality at that time?
At the time, Mâs motivational levels were low. There were changes needed in the business that M could drive, but heâd lost the desire to do so. He was unhappy in his current role but wasnât clear about what the next steps were for him.
Was this requirement for skilling and/or performance enhancement and/or development and/or something else?
The coaching was developmental based, focusing on exploring strengths and re-evaluating career options. The business was in danger of losing M and wanted to do their utmost to retain him.
What was the âidealâ that the coachee was aiming for?
M wanted to complete the coaching programme:
- Feeling clear about his future direction
- Re-motivated about his current role
- With a plan in place for moving his professional (and personal life) forward.
The Diagnostic Approach
Which, if any, assessment tools were used?
Mâs coaching programme was launched by the completion of Self-completed and Sponsor-completed questionnaires. Existing diagnostics from within the organisation were also used, namely Mâs psychometrics and output from Mâs Personal Development Plan.
What FPG systems were put in place to help the diagnostic process?
The âSelfâ and âSponsorâ questionnaires that were completed at the start of the programme served to clarify the current situation â from all perspectives. On this occasion, the conscious decision not to include the sponsor in a 3-way initial coaching session was taken: all parties considered it important that the coachee had complete privacy to explore all areas so that the desired outcomes would be achieved.
Which other tools and techniques were used at the âdiagnosticâ stage?
The initial session focused on defining 3 clear goals with measurable outcomes. M also carried out a Values Elicitation exercise and produced a Strengths Map which highlighted core values, and strengths, as well as identifying the activities that energised M and those that drained him.
This coachâs general approach to diagnosis
I help the coachee define the goals that they wish to achieve and, once defined, we focus on building a strong sense of their core foundation. Once that is achieved, I work with the coachee to build and create their ideal. This worked for M as he was in a state of transformation and transition in his professional and personal development and had lost sight of his goals and core values.
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 follows:
- Values Elicitation: a coaching technique for drawing out personal values, prioritising them and then honing down to 3-5 core values
- Strengths Map: a coaching exercise to create a map of Knowledge, Skills and Attitude
- Horizons Map: a coaching exercise to map out short-term, medium-term and long-term goals and ideas
- Reframing Techniques: a coaching model to help the coachee create and sustain an optimal frame of mind
- CIGAR: a coaching model that encourages the coachee to focus on creating a strong picture of the âIdealâ and then on putting actions in place to plug the gaps
- Beliefs Model: a coaching model that enables the coachee to drill down to explore underlying beliefs and assumptions that might be holding them back
- Anchoring: using metaphors to anchor new behaviours
- Perceptual Positioning: a coaching exercise to help the coachee view the same situation from different perspectives.
What were the benefits of these?
The tools chosen are all very practical yet can create powerful shifts in perception. For someone like M who was at a crossroads in his career, he needed to think âoutside the boxâ. He also needed to be aware of how his thoughts were driving his behaviour and his lack of motivation. By undertaking these practical activities, M became clearer about his unique role within the business and the contribution that he brought to the senior management team. By taking action he was also taking responsibility for his situation.
How was the coaching delivered?
The first session was held face-to-face. After that, sessions took place on the telephone. M had a total of 6 coaching sessions.
What âhomeworkâ was set?
Homework was a mixture of practical and mental activities - varying from reflecting upon some key questions, to M writing his ideal job ad., to delegating administrative tasks to his PA, to brainstorming with his team on a new innovations.
Is there anything else about the way in which this person was coached that proved fundamental to the shifts s/he made?
The fundamental shift came about because the coaching started with the fundamentals â identifying and drilling down to the core values that motivated M. With this type of situation itâs easy to go straight into action mode which, in Mâs case, wouldnât have been appropriate. The important thing here was to provide space for exploration and the opportunity to drill down to the core. Once M was clear on that, M and his coach were able to align Mâs creativity and action with his true values and his vision of the âidealâ.
What results did the coachee achieve?
Despite there being a lot of discussion about moving out of the company, within six months M was offered a job heading up a new entrepreneurial division within the business. Funnily enough, it ticked many of the boxes on his âideal jobâ ad. â something he thought he would only ever find outside the company. His new role plays to his strengths and will keep him occupied for many years to come.
How were the achievements measured/verified?
The achievements were benchmarked back to the original three goals â all of which were achieved. The company also retained the re-energised M, one of their senior employees.
To what extent can their achievements be attributed to the work that s/he did with their coach?
Working with a coach provided the time and space for reflection and exploration which enabled M to identify his fundamental issues. The clarity that was gained from doing this allowed M to realign his current role to his core values and enabled him to recognise his ideal role when it did come up.
What has been put in place to ensure that the coacheeâs achievements are sustained in the longer term?
Ad hoc contact continues with the coachee in the form of short updates. The âupdatesâ focus on the extent to which M is continuing to achieve the goals he set for himself during his last coaching session and how, if his goals are not being fully achieved, this can be redressed.