ILM Executive Coach Training
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. 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
Testimonials from 59 Productions:
“A quick thank you once again for everything over the past two days, and the whole course so far. It’s been just completely brilliant and I can see how much enthusiasm there is amongst us all coming back into the office today. You made listening to us so attentively and actively over the past 2 days look effortless! The whole experience has been extraordinarily useful thanks to you and to your dedication to us as a group”. – Anna Jameson
“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.” – Leo Warner, Founder / Executive Creative Director
“I found the training incredibly useful, the atmosphere, tone and content were all fantastic. The day was a great combination of productive and fun. Coaching tools are very useful for providing feedback. One on one coaching and group coaching could provide us with very useful new ways to improve our practice. I found the whole set up was really well suited to our needs.” – Mark Grimmer, Director
“I began our coaching course with a degree of scepticism and misconceived ideas about what performance coaching meant but have, in the six months since starting, realised what an enormous difference it has and could continue to make to so many parts of my personal and professional life. It is a shift in thinking and approach that appears to be life changing!” – Jenny Melville
“Speaking as a coach and trainer of coaches, I thought the training was fantastic. I felt you made the fundamentals of coaching come alive for a group of people with quite different expectations and levels of experience. Most importantly, you helped them think about how they could integrate what they learned into their roles as senior managers in a genuinely useful way, as well as inspiring some of the group to think about how they could use their new skills in a more formal way. Speaking for myself, you reminded me of what an important developmental experience learning coaching skills can be for anyone, however experienced.” – Michael Toller, Professional Coach and Trainer, www.michaeltollercoaching.co.uk