Coaching Case STudy
The Operations Director of a Financial Services Firm wanted his management team of 6 individuals to be developed to take on greater responsibility and to be better prepared to deal with the strategic challenges associated with rapid business expansion. He was especially keen to explore and develop their leadership styles, decision-making, problem solving, and communication skills.
VWA Consulting initiated a development programme that started with the assessment of all staff involved. We used a number of psychometric tools such as the OPQ combined with competency based 360-degree interviews. Once we had gathered information from a range of perspectives using different tools, we integrated and analysed the findings, which were amalgamated into a detailed report for each individual.
Managers were given 2 to 3 hour individual feedback sessions designed to increase their self-awareness and knowledge of their strengths and weaknesses. They were encouraged to share their own feelings, views and explanations of their behaviour, which helped us to gain a deeper insight into their motives, self limiting beliefs, gaps in knowledge or skills and emotional resilience. We explored relevant personal and organisational barriers to successful performance.
After the feedback session, each person generated a personal development plan with specific goals for development. The Operations Director approved and contributed to this. Follow up development activities were identified for each development goal including mentoring, coaching, training courses and on-the-job learning opportunities.
The employees were allowed to develop their self-awareness and knowledge of their strengths and areas for development. As they were involved in the process, they had greater ownership of their own development needs and were more committed to improving their performance. We coached the individuals against their key competencies and development areas which included management, leadership, assertiveness, communication, time management, decision making and a range of other performance issues.
Team Building Case Study
VWA Consulting was asked to facilitate a series of team building days for a team within a city-based investment bank. The team wanted to address several people and process issues, while also gaining a better understanding of each other and developing more effective communication channels.
Prior to the first team-building day, each member of the team was given the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. On the day, feedback was provided on each individual to the whole team to enhance their understanding of each other. In addition, several group exercises were designed and facilitated with the aim of building a sense of team identity and purpose, and enabling team members to communicate more effectively to achieve shared objectives that they were committed to.
Several months later, we conducted a series of in-depth interviews with each team member to uncover the specific problems they faced. The interview content was then used to design bespoke exercises targeting specific team problems and issues in the second team event. A strong emphasis was placed on communication channels and how communication barriers could be overcome. We designed exercises to enhance the following process:
Team ‘potency’, or sense of collective team worth and ability,
Team climate – including levels of commitment and satisfaction with the team
Opening up communication channels
Day-to-day processes such as how to conduct effective meetings. The reflection demanded by the exercises enabled the team to generate a number of high-quality action-oriented solutions that they were committed to implementing in the workplace.
Team members felt both teambuilding days were highly valuable and have since made several changes to their working practices. The primary benefit to the team is that they were able to work more effectively together through utilising their communication skills and being better able to understand different perspectives.
Assessment case study
Our client, a global pharmaceutical company, was in the process of changing its organisational structure, and as a result wanted to ensure they placed the right people in the right roles. The roles to be assessed were in the top two tiers of the organisational chart and those in them were going to be critical to the success of the company’s expansion strategy.
The first step was to ensure we were working with the right criteria. The client had detailed job descriptions and had already pre-specified the competencies for selection in each role. We used our knowledge and understanding of senior leadership roles to add certain competencies to the list of assessment criteria. Once the criteria were finalised we chose relevant assessment methods to measure them.
We used a range of exercises including tests of verbal and numerical ability, a personality inventory, a managerial judgment exercise and two detailed interviews. One interview was a competency-based interview exploring strategic thinking, decision-making and transformational leadership. The other was a psychological interview exploring self-belief, emotional resilience, optimism and general thinking style. Using all this information we were able to compile in-depth reports outlining whether candidates would perform to a high level in the roles against which they were being considered.
The client was satisfied with the assessment process and was able to use our recommendations to re-structure their organisation. They valued having an objective and fair process against which to assess their high performers and they have committed to using us again for future talent management initiatives.
Workplace Wellbeing Case Study
VWA Consulting was asked by a long-standing client, a progressive and fast-growing technology company, to run our Mindful Emotional Regulation Course for a group of 10 senior executives. Due to relentlessly rapid growth, there were pockets of high stress and anxiety in the business and the client was keen to address this.
The course was delivered in weekly sessions of 1.5 hours over a period of 8 weeks and the client also invested in two monthly follow up sessions to enable participants to embed some of the insights and tools acquired. The following topics were addressed:
The physical structure of the brain and why it evolved this way: A brief but thorough overview of the brain, how it works, the connections and divisions between certain brain regions, and how to rewire the brain to improve wellbeing.
Self-awareness: How to develop awareness ‘in the moment’ of feelings, thoughts, behavioural patterns and reactions; how to break the cycle of automatic reactions and develop a more mindful, attentive way of responding to people and events.
Emotional Regulation: How the key emotional systems interact and influence each other, how to recognise which emotional system is driving your behaviour in any given situation, and how to restore balance between the emotional systems in order to thrive emotionally and mentally.
Mind-body connection: The science behind the nervous system and how learning to intentionally balance and soothe the sympathetic nervous system can help clear the mind, release tension and stress, and help one interact with others without becoming defensive or reactive.
Mindfulness: How certain conditions need to exist in order for someone to adopt a more mindful presence through life and work. Participants were presented with practical tools to boost mindful awareness.
Feedback On The Course
The feedback was very positive overall, and ranged from ‘fantastic’, ‘brilliant’ and ‘engaging’ to ‘a fascinating insight into the brain and mind’.
The majority of the participants commented on the depth of the science within the course, reporting a good balance of theory and practice for the logically minded. Several of the participants praised the wide range of techniques offered, which were easily digestible, and transferable to the workplace, including client situations.