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Executive Coaching - Real Life Situations

"All men dream; but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible."
TE Lawrence "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom"

Situations Where Executive Coaching Could Be Useful External Intervention

An outline of some of the programmes we have run is shown below, illustrating situations where and when coaching may be appropriate.

As an independent 'sounding board' or critical friend to a senior individual. The Chief Executive had no one to talk to in confidence; it's a common enough situation for top managers to find themselves in. Working with The Yellow Palette, over the course of a few weeks he began to realize what was holding him back in solving the current issues, was able to lift his vision and identify the next challenge. Coaching helped him put himself in the frame for promotion to a Group international role, which he achieved a few months later.

As an external encourager of personal development, to reach one's potential. The bank had grown enormously during his 14 years of employment, and he was now slightly out of touch with the new culture, hanging on to the old ways. He turned to The Yellow Palette, as he wanted to get promoted! Defining transferable skills and values, reviewing career achievements, and setting short and medium term objectives enabled him to identify the hurdles he had to clear to achieve his aim. Then it was a 'simple' process of getting himself noticed and establishing a new reputation.

To support an individual into a more senior appointment. Having had a very successful and progressive career path, this high flier became Managing Director of a '' company. Working 18-20 hour days has not been good for maintaining a balance in her life.

After a number of coaching sessions, she has more focus on priority issues, more confidence about reducing her working day to more sensible hours, has identified activities that will create that better balance and as such become a more effective Managing Director.

To assist in implementing organisational change, working with individuals and teams. The insurance industry is, like any other sector, prone to the cyclical nature of the general economic climate. So when a new product is launched, timing is crucial. After struggling to build a team and develop the market, the Managing Director was stressed - and it showed. The Yellow Palette has acted as a mentor and confidant, listening to the ups and downs of the business. In the telling, the issues have become clearer and options have opened up where none appeared before. Confidence breeds success and the corner's been turned. A team-building 'Away Day' was run to reinforce the lessons.

As a 'safety valve' in difficult circumstances. Assisting a newly appointed Board member to recognise his strengths and coaching him on how to cope with the Boardroom politics, which were undermining his effectiveness. Over a few months, he returned to his former capable self, rediscovered his self-confidence and is making a more significant contribution generally and especially in his area of expertise.

Coaching to improve team performance. The Management Team were, individually, quite effective; as a team, the Managing Director knew they could do better. Working with each manager over a number of weeks to ensure their understanding of their strengths, styles and issues, then attending management meetings to observe, check, advise on improvements to achieve a more balanced, effective performance.

Working with the disappointed! The provincial branch manager did not understand why he had not been successful in his application for an internal Group appointment; his performance declined. Fortunately the company recognised his potential and engaged The Yellow Palette. Two years later he is the Managing Director of one of the Group's operating companies.

To support senior individuals through organisational change. Helping an IT wizard not only cope with, but also enjoy (!), working for two bosses with completely different management styles. Coaching gave her the perspective and balance she needed, suggested solutions to the management of both her time and her bosses, and renewed her belief in her ability.