It’s always interesting to see who opts for coaching and who doesn’t.
Let me tell you about Sam (not his real name). Sam was a successful senior manager, buzzing with ideas, busy climbing the ladder to the top of his company, the last person you might expect to choose to have coaching.
It became clear in our first session that Sam wasn’t satisfied. For all his energy and ideas, he found it really difficult to think things through, so he kept taking ‘half-baked’ ideas to the board or even presenting things that would have been better shelved.
He was so ‘switched on’ to the people around him, his social media and emails, not to mention all his new ideas, he was struggling to use his desk time or work from home time productively. The team he managed liked him but found him quite frustrating and there were some people in his team he just didn’t understand. He was a past master at ‘winging it’.
What Sam wanted was more time, but even when he had it, it somehow didn’t help.
Working together we used a recent 360 feedback exercise and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator so Sam was able to get a much better understanding of his strengths and weaknesses. It helped him to understand his team better too.
But understanding was only the first step. Sam used his coaching sessions for thinking and for bouncing ideas around. He also addressed some specific challenges – running team meetings so they were more inspiring and useful, using his desk time productively. He also asked to be kept accountable – he would commit to meeting a deadline and then sending an email to say he’d met it by a certain time.
Sam wasn’t failing when he started having coaching, but he had recognised that he could do even better, work more efficiently and work to his strengths better. Within 6 months he’d also rewritten his job description to better fit the company’s needs and his strengths.