When I first met this client*, it was well-recognised that he had strong vocational competence, but his approach was not agile. He was one-dimensional in his interactions and presentations. After careful exploration of his mindset and behaviour, he discovered how he had been sabotaging his own best efforts. The result: a more flexible and powerfully natural working style, greater credibility and a wanted big promotion.
*The confidential nature of my work precludes me from giving specific detail about individuals or businesses.
My client works for one of the world’s top legal outsourcing firms. A good team motivator, he worked in a senior capacity managing 104 people and successfully delivering a gross profit of £8.4m per annum. Yet there was work to be done on his profile amongst key senior stakeholders if he was to be considered for the promotion that his technical knowledge and experience warranted. Moreover a more flexible style would enable him to work more to his personal strengths, rather than trying to fit a particular mold.
The coaching theme
Despite his naturally strong management abilities in many areas, my client found himself struggling against his own limiting perceptions and tendency to revert to the same working methods time after time. He compared himself unfavourably to others (without reason), lacked the courage to use his intuition and take the initiative, and failed to engage with seniors confidently – despite his unquestionable vocational competence. Consequently, bigger and broader opportunities (which he was keen for) were, at that stage, out of his reach.
What we did
My role was to help the client look at his style. I helped him find new, more powerful yet authentic ways to lead and influence the people around him, really building on and drawing out his key strengths. I knew that his fear of being challenged gave him the tendency to hold back in his opinions and actions. He learned how to take a step back from negative thoughts about himself, decentering from them and seeing them for what they were – thoughts, not facts. This created the opening for new perspectives about himself and others. By doing all this, his thoughts could no longer hijack his confidence.
Two years before the executive coaching, the client’s boss had felt there was an issue surrounding potential future promotion due to lack of personal gravitas. Our coaching sessions changed that. Today, my client has built up valuable relationships and networks with senior executives, frequently persuading them to buy into his ideas and opinions. He does this in his unique way. He faces questions and challenges calmly, recognising that we do not always ‘know’ and that’s ok. He no longer fears unknown quantities and has found a much more intuitive working style. He is more adaptable, composed and influential – and now in his more senior role, with a team of 300 making a gross profit of £175m, his hard work is bringing him tangible business results.
“I really enjoyed being introduced to different theories, tools and techniques and I was given licence to apply my ‘own stamp’, so that I could tailor the coaching to my own individual needs,” he says on his feedback form. “The atmosphere and tone was relaxed, which helped nurture an environment where Rachael and I could challenge each other. I achieved my goal of conveying credibility to a point where I was promoted into a more senior position – Rachael and her coaching methodology played a huge part in this.”
Tall Spaghetti is based in Sheffield, so is particularly well-placed to deliver executive coaching in Sheffield, Manchester, Leeds, Nottingham, Derby and other nearby locations. However, Tall Spaghetti works on a national basis too.