Case History 59 Productions
59 Productions is an award-winning design studio and production company that makes imaginative work for audiences of all kinds. The company’s designers, writers, directors, architects, animators, visual artists and technologists work together to produce artistic work in a range of disciplines to tell amazing stories.
The company has experienced rapid expansion over the last few years and wished to enhance the existing positive culture by raising motivation and cohesion between the teams and the directors.
We provided our signature five day ILM accredited coaching and mentoring course, spread over a period of three months. The training was delivered in modules of 2 days plus 2 days, plus a further day for assessments. In between each training session participants were paired to practise with each other, providing a safe space for them to embed the skills before putting them into place at work, like learning to ride a bike before taking it out on the road.
The participants all passed their assessments and report benefits in terms of their relationships and team meetings at work.
Excerpts from the case histories they delivered at the end of the training show specifically how the new learning has been put into action:
“I feel that the undertaking of a coaching training program for the senior management team has had a wide and positive impact on how we operate as a company.
As regards my own coaching practice specifically:
– I have observed with interest the subtle (and in some cases not-so-subtle) changes in my interactions in personal and professional environments brought about by the advent of my coaching training. Whilst I have not so far chosen to undertake what might be called formal coaching sessions beyond those prescribed by the requirements of the course, I have found that a number of the techniques have made their way into some of my day-to-day interactions, for both conscious and unconscious reasons.
– A key example of this is in my management of one of our Heads of Department who has himself been part of the coaching training. I have noticed that the quality of dialogue and the overall energy of our meetings have improved in recent months, and my observation is that this is most likely due not only to my nascent knowledge of coaching techniques as a coach, but also his ability to respond to my increasingly coaching-based approach as an experienced coachee. I think this suggests that there is value not only in teaching the techniques of coaching to managers, but also introducing the idea to the wider and/or more junior team as coaches (and potentially coaches of the future).” – Leo Warner, Founder/Executive Creative Director
“The most interesting and useful thing I’ve learned in the process of becoming a coach is the skill of Active Listening. I am a problem solver by nature, and I discovered that this actually gets in the way of helping people solve their problems – I often “tune out” of a conversation as I start to think of solutions to something I’ve just heard. By being more conscious of listening, using the skills of silent prompting, reflection, and open questions, I find I am much better at listening to the whole problem, and engaging with my colleagues (and my family) in a much more positive way.
In conversations with subordinates, I find myself much more willing to let them work out how to solve a problem on their own, rather than interrupting and solving it for them. I have already noticed positive results from this technique, in particular with some recent employees, who don’t have any previous knowledge of how I approach issues.
Another very useful technique is the Generative Thinking process for meetings. We have instituted this on several occasions, with nearly universally positive results. Simply allowing each person in the room to bring up one issue or concern before letting anyone speak twice has opened up meetings and allowed much more fruitful collaboration. This is true of creative meetings, where we design things and create ideas, as well as review meetings, where we analyze what has gone right, or wrong, on a project. I have for a long time been an advocate of distilling down large problems into small actionable tasks, but the GROW model for choosing these tasks (or Goals) has allowed me to find new ways to tease them out. In particular, the very motivating prompt of “what WILL you do” is in the back of my mind both in conversations I have with colleagues, but also internally to myself.
Learning to Coach has reinforced some things I already knew, but wasn’t fully aware of the importance of, and has also given me new skills to apply to my daily work. The techniques I and my colleagues have learned fit very well into the culture of our company, and are already having a significant positive impact on the work we do every day. I plan to review the course materials on a regular basis, and will continue to practice and develop my skills as a Coach. I’m sure they will continue to serve me well.” – Benjamin Piercy
“Since taking part in the coaching workshops I have found that using skills learned through the coaching training has become part of my everyday practice. In particular, paying increased attention to how well I’m listening, and making sure to use permissions in offering both advice and feedback, have had a positive impact on my working practice.
With regard to ‘better listening’, I have discovered that leaving silence often allows for colleagues and managers to do some developed thinking for themselves, and often to reach, or at least approach, the conclusion they are looking for with minimal input from me. This marks a big change for me as my natural instinct would have been to fill silence and to assume that I, rather than the person that I’m talking to, is best place to solve the problem or challenge that they are facing.
Seeking permission has revealed itself to be useful way of creating a respectful intervention in a conversation or meeting that I have felt it important to contribute to. Whilst not strictly following the ‘rules’ of a coaching session, the use of this technique that I learned through the coaching has helped to reduce the likelihood of antagonism or conflict in important or emotionally charged professional discussions.” – Mark Grimmer
Culture at Work, providing ILM Coaching and Mentoring Training worldwide
At Culture at Work we provide global ILM coaching and mentoring training, and leadership development programmes, at all levels, including C-Suite, for organisations in 33 countries and in all main business languages. We can provide in-house courses by webinar, open coach training courses in London, ILM Endorsed, Level 5, Level 7 and Diploma coach training qualifications, manager-as-coach courses, plus general leadership development and team building programmes. Develop a coaching culture in your own workplace
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