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Peer group discussion

Client case studies & feedback

Making a difference

One-to-one executive coaching provision for a senior-manager referral, working at a London Council (2019-20).

Following appraisal review and referral for development via coaching, 6 confidential, one-to-one coaching sessions were completed with agreed, interim activities and progress reviews. Improved work/life balance, resilience and assertion skills were reported, resulting in better boundary management and reduction in outstanding team case reviews.

Client feedback: ‘I found you to be very approachable, professional and warm natured. When I felt that I was struggling to balance both work and personal responsibilities, you enabled me to reflect on ways to make this more manageable, for example, changing my working pattern. I now feel more confident and competent and able to challenge things in a more constructive manner. I felt reassured that you maintained the confidentiality between us and I have truly grown as an individual through your interventions.’

Leadership coaching for senior managers at a London council (2018)

6 senior managers on a leadership development programme took the opportunity to complete leadership coaching alongside a comprehensive series of leadership workshops, referencing Leadership 360-degree feedback data that had been collected at the beginning of the programme.  Coaching objectives were agreed with each client in relation to their personal appraisal objectives and mapped to learning content from programme.  

Impact: Follow-up programme evaluation showed that 5 out of 6 (83%) of participants that received leadership coaching went on  to permanent promotions or ‘acting-up’ opportunities within the organisation, compared to 50% of programme participants overall.

Client feedback:  ‘I feel my confidence has risen in response to my coaching discussions about my strengths and the positive view of my capabilities.  As I gained confidence, I ‘found my voice’ and found it easier to express my feelings of frustration in way I was being managed. Before, I do not think I would have had the confidence to apply for a secondment, let alone be offered the role, and now (1 year post-programme) I have successfully taken up a permanent promotion.’

Career coaching

National Return to Work Programme - Planners (2021)

Individual coaching sessions were provided throughout a 2-month programme to all 23 participants, aiming to:

  • Help each to identify and manage the steps they need to take towards their employment goals

  • Empower, enable and encourage them.

​2 months after the programme, 6 participants had already secured new positions and the others had gained confidence to start applying for new jobs. 

Client Feedback:  'Its made me think about how I can best deal with my career challenges - if I am not comfortable in the future, I will ask more questions or share what I am thinking.'  'It was productive and enlightening.'  'I am going to intentionally force myself to do something right for me.'  'I am ready and my self-healing has started.  I feel good.'  'I realise I need to define my values and identify what I need to be more motivated.'  'I found it useful and was able to open up.'

Team coaching to deliver change

Integrated locality-working pilot, North Croydon (2019)

A programme was developed for 8 service leads who would pilot a new, integrated operating approach in the borough. The key objectives were to formulate a collective vision and facilitate the change from a reactive, co-operative partnership to a proactive, collaborative leadership team. Referencing Kotter’s ’Accelerate Change Model’ and Tuckman’s 'Model of Team Formation', a number of sessions were held to develop trust and collaboration, enabling the team to form a strategic vision and remove historic, operational barriers to set up new, joint initiatives.

By the end of the programme the pilot had met its objectives, introduced a new performance framework and the council was able to transition borough-wide service provision into a permanent, integrated locality system, modelled on the pilot.

Client feedback: ‘Once again, thank you so much for your facilitation.It is extremely helpful and I am benefiting from being an active participant. '(Pilot Programme Manager)

Peer group coaching

National Return to Work Programme - Planners (2021)

The participants took part in online group coaching in groups of 6-8, via a series of action learning sets that enabled them to reflect upon their programme experiences and together, work through any challenges that may have arisen, as well as providing a platform for mutual support and empowerment.  At the end of the programme, participants decided to continue meeting regularly as they valued the interaction so much, and set up an online contact group via a social media platform.  Within 2 months, 6 participants had already secured new positions and the others had gained confidence to start applying for new jobs.

Emerging themes from participant feedback:

  • Appreciation for getting to know other participants and hearing about their experiences.  Providing a catalyst for group psychological safety and an opportunity for ‘bonding’.  Connecting with each other and knowing others were experiencing similar thoughts, feelings and challenges. ‘Just knowing others are in the same position kept me going’.

  • Valuing the opportunity to discuss programme challenges, considering suitable options and coming up with solutions that would work. Sharing interpretation of homework expectations and examples of how they had approached the requirements. 

  • Benefits of having a method for reflection and constructively challenging themselves.  Helping each other make small adjustments to influence behaviour and outcomes.

  • Helping to decompress and cope with pressures they were experiencing.  ‘Part of the programme where I can exhale and breathe’.

Client feedback:  'The value that you are adding to the planning training is immense and having been with the learners I'd argue perhaps the most important'. (Principal Consultant, Planning Advisory Service, Local Government Association)

Leadership development programme

Aspiring leadership programme for Women (2018-19)

Targeting under-representation of women and minority ethnic groups in management positions, we worked in partnership with staff networks to design an aspiring leader programme specifically for women, focusing upon aspects of motivation, self-confidence, influence, communication, collaboration and networking.  71 women completed the programme in 2018-19 and 54% went on to achieve interim or permanent career progression with their employer. The organisation won the ‘Public Sector Overall Winner’ category at the Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion’s (ENEI) annual awards, in recognition of the efforts made to promote and value diversity in the workplace.

Client feedback: 'I want to thank you for your great inspiration, leadership and humour that you have given to me and all who have been on the Women’s leadership programme. I have emerged a new a new creation'.

Coaching for performance

Online 'manager as coach' programme for experienced managers (2020)

Due to the consequences of the COVID Pandemic, a 2-day, in-person programme was successfully redesigned in 2020 to 4 x online workshops and interim activities, covering coaching skills to motivate others, develop staff, delegate effectively, provide feedback and improve team performance. Throughout the programme managers participated in online 'Manager Exchange' forums, developing their reflective capabilities and communication skills.

Client feedback: 'A superb and challenging programme - It has enabled me to change the way I manage and improved my relationship with my team.'

Enhancing workplace resilience

'Preventing workplace stress and supporting staff wellbeing' programme for line managers (2020)

To enable managers to sensitively engage with staff about mental health awareness and promote avenues of support available, a ‘Team Talk Toolkit’ was developed and briefing workshops conducted. During Covid-19 lockdown constraints, workshops continued online, along with peer 'exchange groups' to promote connection, reflection and support their own wellbeing.

Client feedback: 'The facilitator delivered the workshop sessions to a high and impressive standard, explaining the purpose for setting up the Exchange Groups and the personal benefits to us during the uncertain times of the pandemic..'

Personal resilience coaching

Coaching programme for a project manager, to improve energy regulation and personal boundary management  (2022)

To help raise understanding of key factors that affect their personal resilience and develop self-awareness, an intensive, 4-part coaching programme was completed, alongside subject-matter information,  activities, and a  reflective, personalised coaching journal.

Client feedback: ''I am no longer overwhelmed as often, and no longer shutting down either... I learned so much, and there are many tools that I did not know about.  The activities really helped to develop my thoughts about my personal resilience and I really found the suggestions useful because I didn't have to work it all out on my own...I have improved and I am so much more aware, so it was a successful course for me.'

Manager Ex-changes©

Exchange group - London Local Authority, 2020

During 2020, most employees at this London Council were working remotely due to the Covid-19 restrictions.  A number of service restructures and job cuts were also announced during this turbulent time, resulting in a reported sense of isolation and negative effects upon mental health, wellbeing and engagement. 

A number of workforce support options were introduced, including 'exchange groups'.  Managers across the council took part in an initial, online 'induction' to learn how to get the most from participating in the process, followed by virtual meetings every 2 to 3 weeks in small groups, where they created an environment of mutual support and empowerment; a place where they could explain their circumstances, explore options and decide how best to change outcomes.  

Client feedback:  'This network has been an amazing source of support, particularly during the staff consultation period. It has allowed me to be reflective on my career choices, given me support and advice, and allowed me to have a perspective of the bigger picture across the council. Had it not been for the exchange group, I would not have had contact with the other group members - I would actually say that we have developed a friendship through the group. Would highly recommend!'. (Housing Assessment Team Leader)

©Jeanette James, 2020

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