Post workshop coaching is where the gold comes from
Almost always the feedback from our workshops says that participants were very satisfied or extremely satisfied with the session. Whilst this is good news, we are passionate about ensuring that the learning really sticks. We want to see them applied long-term to create meaningful change. We do this by giving everyone 10 weekly Learning Bytes that reconnect them with the material. One individual coaching session is also provided so that we can go deeper into specific personal challenges.
The individual coaching sessions are often where the gold comes from. It is here that we can truly look at an individual’s unique circumstance. These one-on-one sessions are about helping leaders to gain a deeper level of understanding that is more particular to their challenges at work.
Our goal in these sessions is to help people achieve a high level of self-awareness. This is where we can achieve insights that enable a preferred way of communicating with team members.
Recently we coached a senior manager called Costa who had joined in a new company. Despite his experience and technical skill, he felt he was struggling to influence other team members. He was finding it hard to build relationships and rapport with those who had been in the company for many years. They had quite fixed views on how to approach problems – to the point where he was being ignored and undermined by some of the team members. He needed some guidance about how to communicate in a way that would improve his relationships and reduce the resistance he was encountering.
Ask don’t tell
Not many of us like being told what to do! It’s a common human tendency. In the coaching session we talked to Costa about changing tack and asking and inviting input from the team rather than telling them what to do. This is a great strategy if you want to build trust and work more collaboratively. He was genuinely grateful for our advice as he had never thought about it in that way.
We suggested to Costa that he seek permission to share his approach with the team by simply saying, ‘these are my thoughts, what are yours?’ This powerful strategy shows that you value other people’s experience and knowledge and that you are open to their ideas. It is less directive. Asking for people’s perspective and seeking their input also allows them more ownership for the outcomes.
Communication blind spots
We also explained to Costa about communication blind spots. Non-verbal communication is powerful. If your thoughts and intentions are not aligned with your words and behaviours it will leak out in your tone and body language. If you want to build trust and influence, it is essential that you speak and act authentically.
In our session we also discussed the idea of rehearsing how Costa was going to approach things next time. Costa said that he felt practising would also give him time to think about things before he was in the hot seat. He already felt more confident going forward.
At Learnfully we place great value in the application of our workshop learning. Coaching is powerful because everyone is different. It helps individuals to reflect on their own views and consider alternatives. We encourage our clients to think about better ways of communicating with others in difficult situations to strengthen workplace relationships and achieve productive outcomes.