Example of Our Work: Coaching
A healthcare company contracted with Thunderbird Leadership Consulting to provide confidential coaching sessions for its leaders, to be provided on a monthly basis over 12 months. One of the Thunderbird coaches began working with a new leader in the company. The process started with a 3-way conversation with the leader, the leader’s supervisor and the coach. They discussed expectations for the coaching, stressing confidentiality and work performance. Because this was a first time experience for the leader, the coach spent some time initially differentiating the role of coach from the role of counselor. The coach stressed that the focus of coaching is forward, addressing the skills and competencies the leader needs to be successful in his role with the company.
Over the sessions, the coach noticed that about one third of each session was spent addressing conflict situations, either with direct line staff, or with other departments. The coach helped the leader identify more effective approaches to the conflict, practice different behaviors in role playing, and then plan what steps he would take before the next coaching session. During the rest of the coaching session, the leader worked to establish, then evaluate, goals he had set in earlier sessions; personal goals that were designed to align with the broader goals of the organization.
At the end of the sessions, the coach met once more in a three way conversation with the leader and his supervisor to evaluate the success of the coaching and to conclude the process. The leader ended his time with the Thunderbird coach, very appreciative to the coach and to his organization for providing a safe place to deal with sometimes difficult topics in a way that helped him be more successful, and of value to his company. The Thunderbird coach also encouraged the leader to consider bringing up conflict management as a topic for the entire team.