The Head of Personnel had the support of the COO for board-level coaching. One of these was a ‘remediation coaching’ assignment – the Directors were unable to deal with this Director directly and so all the Board agreed to participate in an executive development exercise involving coaching 1-2-1 for all Directors! Their individual annual reviews were to be used as templates for added-value performance. The ‘remediation coaching’ situation was one where the individual was a highly knowledgeable and skilled individual operating at the highest possible level internationally, but who was not meeting performance expectations internally – for example, not involving his team in any aspect of decision-making and deliberately undermining colleagues.
The individual was technically well positioned for a bigger role in the business but with no chance unless he started to perform at a higher level of efficacy and impact internally. He was anyway sensitized due to direct feedback from three senior colleagues including the COO and Head of Personnel.
Eight hours of coaching was bought for each Director and taken up on both a face-to-face and telephone-coaching basis. The first session to be two hours. Rapport with the target-individual took some time, as wanting to contextualize all the history concerning his ‘lack of performance’. Once the individual felt heard and a working rapport was established, it was possible to start challenging his perceived need for context and to focus instead on his influencing ability to change the perception that other people had of him. The outcomes all required self-managed, behavioural changes. These were augmented with both severe ‘away-from’ and attractive ‘towards’ motivational factors. Work was spent in creating clear boundaries around the role’s responsibility and clear focus for effort & review.
Within one working day of the first working session, the individual was delivering a clear overview of how his area could and could not operate and seeking support from peers. This was approved warmly. Detailed strategies were developed in collaboration with immediate sakeholders resulting in a business strategy for the team. This strategy also provided clear parameters to colleagues about the priorities of the area. Reporting Project Directors and Managers were partnering with colleagues overseas with improved involvement, turn-around times and general productivity. The Heads of Personnel expressed their delight.