If you observe me working with you, you’ll notice I am present; I hold individual, team or group dynamics calmly; I pay exquisite attention; I work at the pace of the slowest member of a group (I don’t leave anyone behind); I encourage interaction and participation and when I do I am quiet; I offer real-time feedback, support and challenge; I use rigour when using concepts and ideas to create practical impactful solutions; I use story telling to bring learning to life; I have a great sense of humour which I use to bring levity to difficult situations, when appropriate; I am courageous in an unassuming way. I am told that I have a quiet gravitas, but that my voice is heard, and this inspires people to think differently and move to action.
In my seminars and workshops, all of which are highly participatory, to optimise the impact of learning, I use and blend a variety of approaches, including: teaching (providing theoretical inputs that provide structures to enable understanding, and then practical processes that enable the theoretical inputs to be of practical relevance and use), facilitation of group processes, coaching, conversation (dialogue), demonstration, group work, pair work and personal reflective practice. Pertinent real world practical examples – I use story – are also used to illustrate and develop a deeper understanding. Further, I offer real-time feedback, challenge and support with the intent of facilitating learning, and to maintain the momentum of emergent action points.
When coaching (and when I am supervising in-house coaches) much of my work goes beyond theory, tools and techniques, although these are referred to and used, where appropriate. Focus is on presence, attention, listening, asking powerful questions, clean language and offering real-time feedback, challenge and support to challenge assumptions and to elicit from a client the insights they need to move from where they are, to where they want to be, then to work with them to create practical steps for action, which are then embedded into the business, and the impact, the return on investment, of these action steps are assessed.
My approach can provide the potential for clients to make a difference and make remarkable returns on their investment of themselves in the organisations in which they work.
Returns on investment
First, following a leadership development programme, a shift in the behaviour of one client from aggressive to assertive led to greater staff retention, which led to an earlier product launch, which led to additional sales worth millions of pounds sterling.
Second, as part of a series of executive coaching sessions, the development of the delegation behaviour of one client led to them having twenty percent more time that they used to create a new business stream with potential sales of several million pounds sterling.
Third, working for one day with a fragmented and dysfunctional senior group led to them creating a clear, shared purpose, vision, mission and strategy which has now formed the basis of their work to create what is now a unified and highly functional team, which is now working to grow the business.
These are just three examples, other assignments have included working with clients to develop and transform: visioning, developing strategic thinking, developing systemic thinking, leading strategic change, building teams, leading teams, and influencing teams, project execution, handling conflict situations, having difficult conversations, personal impact, personal influence, developing relationship, and work/life balance.