Covid-19: A Psychologist on Play, Purpose & Potential

Play, Purpose and Potential for Motivation & Performance whilst working remotely: a guide for line managers.

Play, purpose and potential are three positive motivators identified by Lindsay McGregor and Neel Doshi (ex-McKinsey & Co and co-authors of Primed to Perform) that often lead to increased work performance but are most at risk whilst we’re working remotely. See their piece in Harvard Business Review.

So what can people managers do about it? Read on for our nine practical suggestions for stimulating play, reinforcing purpose and nurturing potential.

Play (the motive that most boosts performance)

  1. Give your team an audacious goal. “Imagine if this time next year we could say we’d achieve X, what would have happened to get us there?” This could kick-off as a 45 minute group brainstorming challenge over virtual afternoon tea (everyone to bake/buy own scones, jam and cream).

  2. Have a fun problem-solving task running in the background such as how to celebrate the return to work on a budget of £500. Invite people to add pictures, films and notes to a shared folder.

  3. Put a playful provocation in the post to your team. [Post coming soon sharing something that went in the post from our CEO to everyone in the team].

    And remember to ask your team for ideas on how to inject playfulness into how you’re working. You don’t have to have all the answers.


  1. Keep your clients and customers alive in your team’s mind. You might ask each team member to dig out some customer feedback they’re proud of and reflect on what that customer might need now.  

  2. Keep your team connected to their why. Be the person who reminds others of why they do their job and what they enjoy about it. Can’t recall? Try thinking of a time each of your team members was particularly upbeat at work and what was happening – that should spark something.

  3. Review (and revise) the team why. This is about everyone in the team knowing the purpose of the team; not the activities of the team but why you do it. Depending on how your organisation is affected by Covid-19 there may be an urgent need to revise the objectives of your team – or it may simply be a good opportunity. Try this activity which then forms a neat basis for a first post-social distancing team meeting:

    – Ask each team member for the 1-sentence response they’d give the CEO if they asked why the team exists.

    – Invite each team member to come with a revised sentence of why the team exists (it’s purpose) in the light of where the world is now. (They might not want to revise the first, that’s fine, but you’ve provoked thinking).

    – Invite everyone to list what they believe to be the three most important things the team as a whole should continue doing, start doing and stop doing (nine in total).


  1. Remind each team member what you most value in them, how those qualities are making a difference now and why they’re going to continue to be important. For recent joiners, you might comment on specific qualities that made them stand out during the hiring process.

  2. Encourage low-cost CPD the whole team can benefit from. Two ideas we particularly like:

    – Every team member chooses a non-fiction book that relates to work/the specific work you do (even if only loosely). Agree a deadline. Read the book with the aim of picking up three ideas that could be useful to the team, why and how they could be applied. Everyone shares via a short film or live on a team call (5 minutes max).

    – Every team member to identify someone (inside or outside the team) they admire for a particular technical skill/strength/characteristic. Everyone commits to approaching their ‘person on a pedestal’ for a 30 minute conversation to learn more about how they got good it, any useful resources and tips on how the learner can build their skill. Some beautiful cross-team relationships could form because of it…

  3. Invite team members to access Strengths Profile (currently free during Covid-19). This is a tool that raises awareness of what an individual naturally finds energising. It can be the basis of conversations about how to better use the individual and collective strengths of the team – as well as identifying opportunities for growth by tapping into ‘unrealised strengths.’ When we use our strengths we’re more engaged, perform better, feel happier and give more discretionary effort. Even in an organisation with – and perhaps because of – significant interruption to usual workflow, reduced orders/customers and financial constraints, there is opportunity for personal growth. As a leader you can be a beacon of hope and optimism by sharing this idea.

Covid-19: A Psychologist’s 1-10 for leading a productive and healthy WFH team

Through our work conversations and coaching practice since social distancing began we’ve caught more than a whiff of mistrust and micromanagement in the air. Our founder, coaching psychologist Jessica Chivers, shares her 10 psychology-based tips to help people managers be productive and healthy, and facilitate the same in their teams.

  1. Regular 1:1s
    Continue to have regular 1:1s. It’s important team members know they have individual focus time with you. Some research from the 80s suggests a fortnightly cadence is optimal but you might want to switch to weekly and make them shorter. If you’re not getting them with your leader, send her/him a nudge with calendar invites.

  2. 2 minutes talk time
    Have a daily team call. Each team member, including you, has 2 minutes talk time: 1 minute to reflect on what went well yesterday and 1 minute to outline today’s priorities.

  3. 3 key things
    Develop a habit of identifying 3 significant tasks/outcomes to focus on each day. At the end of the day reflect on, and write down, 3 key things that went well and why[i]. The first helps you know when to stop for the day. The second helps you draw a line under the working day and go into ‘home time’ feeling relaxed and positive.

  4. The 4 quadrants of the Johari Window
    The Johari Window[ii] is a simple and useful tool for illustrating and improving self-awareness and mutual understanding between individuals in a group. Now more than ever your team are likely to be encouraged by you widening your ‘hidden pane’ and disclosing things about yourself you haven’t shared before. Why?  By telling others how we feel and other information about ourselves we reduce the hidden pane, and increase the open pane, which enables better understanding, cooperation, trust, team-working effectiveness and productivity.

  5. 5:1 praise v criticism
    Individuals in the highest performing teams[iii] receive a ratio of at least 5:1 positive to critical commentary. Simple ‘thank you, [name]’ and ‘I agree with you’ comments make it easy to create that ratio. This ratio also applies to marriage maintenance[iv].

  6. 6 Thinking Hats
    Psychologist Edward De Bono’s 6 thinking hats is a way to make better decisions[v] either as an individual or as a group. A particularly useful tool when you’re working remotely and looking for ways to increase engagement and feelings of team cohesion.

  7. 7 People (not work) days a week
    Like a parent, you’ll no doubt think of your team 7 days a week. But that doesn’t mean working 7 days a week. A brilliant boss creates an atmosphere where the team knows they can be open about work worries and personal problems and be in touch with you whatever the day should they need to. Be a role model for your team and step away from the job on days off.

  8. 8 hours work day maximum
    6-7.5 hours in 4 or 5 x 90 minute blocks with recovery time in between is actually better than 8. That’s based on the ultradian rhythm[vi] our bodies go through day and night. The first 3 of the 90 minute blocks should go on your 3 key things and the remaining 1 or 2 on other work tasks or reviewing and finalising the 3 key things.

  9. 9pm phone cut-off and 9 hours rest
    Note ‘rest’ not ‘sleep.’ Most adults need7-8 hours sleep to start the next day refreshed. Having at least another hour of quiet, calm downtime (think meditation, yoga, talking with partner or stroking the dog whilst stretching gently in front of your nightly 9pm Netflix hour – mine is currently Billions) aids sleep. Smartphones after 9pm are an absolute non-no.[vii]

  10. 10am daily team call
    Early enough to have a full day ahead and late enough to have had a wholesome start (Joe Wickes 9am PE lesson and porridge with berries, nuts and seeds?). Rotate the Chairing (Edward De Bono’s Blue Hat) and remember to give each person 2 minutes of talk time sharing their 3 things that went well yesterday and 3 areas of focus for today.



[i] Research by positive psychology scholars such as Martin Seligman, Sonja Lyubomirsky and Robert Biswas-Diener have found active reflection on things that are going well and why leads to greater wellbeing. In a two-week study where participants were asked to write down three good things that happened during their day and why, the researchers found an uplift in self-reports of happiness and positive effects were still being observed up to 6 months later. It’s important to write down what went well and not just to think it because this brings structure to your thinking and causes you to linger longer on the positive experience. It’s important to consider the why as well as the what, because this increases your sense of perceived control and agency.  In her book The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You WantSonja Lyubomirsky discusses eight ways gratitude boosts happiness.

[ii] Devised by American psychologists Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham (Johari is a contraction of their names) in 1955. The Johari Window represents information – feelings, experience, views, attitudes, skills, intentions, motivation, etc – within or about a person in relation to their group, from four perspectives:

1) Open quadrant: what is known by the person about him/herself and is also known by others
2) Blind quadrant: what is unknown by the person about him/herself but which others know
3) Hidden quadrant: what the person knows about him/herself that others do not know
4) Unknown quadrant: what is unknown by the person about him/herself and is also unknown by others

Find out more about the practical application of the Johari Window here.

[iii] See https://hbr.org/2013/03/the-ideal-praise-to-criticism

[iv] See the work of psychologist Professor John Gottman: https://www.gottman.com/blog/the-magic-relationship-ratio-according-science/

[v] Six Thinking Hats was created by Edward de Bono, and published in his 1985 book of the same name. It forces you or the team to move outside your habitual thinking style, and to look at things from a number of different perspectives. The hats are white (look at the facts); yellow (where you probe for the positives); black (devil’s advocate/consider the downsides); red (feelings, hunches and intuition); green (focuses on creativity and new possibilities) and blue (used to manage the thinking process). This technique facilitates team cohesion because everyone ‘wears’ the same hat at the same time. Mindtools.com is a resource we often signpost to clients and coachees and they give a good overview: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTED_07.htm

[vi] The pioneering sleep researcher Nathaniel Kleitman discovered something he named the “basic rest-activity cycle” — the 90 minute periods at night during which we move progressively through five stages of sleep, from light to deep, and then out again. While it’s much less well known, Kleitman also observed that our bodies operate by the same 90 minute rhythm during the day. When we’re awake, we move from higher to lower alertness every 90 minutes. Other researchers have called this our “ultradian rhythm.” Read more by the founder of The Energy Project, Tony Schwartz, here: https://hbr.org/2010/05/for-real-productivity-less-is

[vii] 9pm cut-off for smartphones: https://hbr.org/2018/09/sleep-well-lead-better and how sleep affects anxiety: https://digest.bps.org.uk/2019/11/21/a-lack-of-sleep-causes-anxiety-but-dont-worry-about-it/

COVID-19 Working from home with children

A number of coachees and clients have been asking us for help around how best to plan a working day when you are caring for for children. We know there will be a big difference between what an employee with two children aged 11+ and a furloughed spouse at home can reasonably do in a day compared to a single father with a primary school child.

We have created a 1 Day @ A Time FOCUS PLANNER (there are a few pdf versions below) to help you think about and plan the day ahead.

If you have young children and you’re co-parenting use the two-column version (shown in picture) to plan each day together to avoid overlap/ensure there’s always one person ‘on-call’. Then the other person is free to focus, go into flow and get their work done. If you have older children you might stick it up where they can see so they know when you are focussed and when you can be interrupted.

How to use the 1 Day @ A Time FOCUS PLANNER

As a bare minimum we suggest:

  1. Identifying the THREE MOST SIGNIFICANT THINGS you want to get done today.
  2. WHEN EXACTLY you are going to focus on each one.
  3. HIGHLIGHTING the time slots you will be working on each of the three most significant things.

Even if you have the whole day available (e.g. older children and/or a partner who is available to take care of them all day) we think writing down three key things you want to get done today is good idea because:

  1. It helps you stay focussed when other things threaten to derail you.
  2. It’s almost certainly going to lead to a sense of satisfaction at the end of the day.
  3. It allows you to know when to stop.
  4. If you’ve shared your planner with the family it helps them to know when you are working on one of your 3 significant things and when you’re ‘happier’ to be interrupted.

THE 1 DAY @ A TIME FOCUS PLANNER TOOLS (pdfs)

We hope you find these useful. If you’re on social media we’d love you to share how you’ve used your planner – tag us @TalentKeepersUK on insta and twitter or our LinkedIn page.

Mindful Business Charter

As a psychologist I know that making a public commitment to taking a particular action increases the likelihood that we’ll do it. We feel uncomfortable with incongruity and not following through undermines our credibility. So too with organisations and that’s why employers signing workplace charters is an important step towards culture change. The Mindful Business Charter, developed by Barclays, Pinsent Masons and Addleshaw Goddard, celebrated it’s first birthday last week and has four principles:

  1. openness and respect
  2. smart meetings and mailings
  3. respecting rest periods
  4. mindful delegation.

I applaud all who sign such charters because the decision has often come at the end of much internal debate, many challenging conversations and the creation of new processes and policies. One can’t hang a sign outside saying “we believe in this” if everything inside the organisation says the opposite. No no no, employees will be quick to tell the world – in one way or another – that their organisation is hoodwinking us.

It’s significant that this charter began as a project straddling two different professions where both can be each other’s biggest client. What often gets in the way of sensible working practices is the belief that “the client” needs something immediately/yesterday and we must deliver now, to the highest standard,  irrespective of the toll it takes on the individuals managing the relationship. At the time of writing over 20 organisations have signed the MBC. All but one (Network Rail) it appears, are law firms or financial services companies. There isn’t, as yet, an MBC website to keep tabs.

The challenge now becomes for these signatory organisations to get their employees to tell the world about the positive day to day difference the charter has made and to share practical examples of how things are being done differently so others may learn and follow. When employees spread their ‘good day at work’ stories on Twitter, LinkedIn and in face to face conversations in the playground, at the gym and on public transport we know change really is happening.

Richard Foley, senior partner at Pinsent Masons, how about a TED Talk on the change you’re creating?

Liberal Democrats lead the charge with introduction of Parental Leave and Pay Arrangements (Publication) Bill

We’re thrilled to see the Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Jo Swinson leading a cross-party push to bring a Private Member’s Bill[1] that would require businesses with 250+ staff to be transparent and publish information on their parental leave and maternity/paternity/adoption and shared parental leave pay policies, in a bid to combat maternity discrimination.

A successful return to work after extended leave, be it maternity, paternity, sickness or sabbatical needs careful thought and management from both the employer and employee, and finding the healthy, sustainable balance between work and other commitments can still feel a challenge from both sides. We feel positive that the introduction of this Bill and the publicity it generates will encourage more open and honest relations between organisations and employees, in the quest to ensure that talent is not overlooked, discouraged, nor penalised.

This public Bill, introduced by Swinson in the House of Commons on June 6th 2018, is sponsored by Nicky Morgan, the former Tory cabinet minister, Harriet Harman, David Lammy and Gareth Thomas from the Labour Party, Caroline Lucas, the Green Party’s co-leader, and Alison Thewliss of the SNP. Whilst not part of planned Government legislation, the Bill would be a simple regulatory change that could lead to significant benefits for working parents.

Jill Miller, diversity and inclusion adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, described Swinson’s proposal as an “encouraging move”, adding that “increased transparency about parental leave policies shines a spotlight on an organisation’s offering and could help break the taboo of employees and prospective employees asking about their entitlements, which many are often reluctant to do”.

The introduction of this Bill is one of several significant developments in the last week alone, with the publication of the Treasury Select Committee’s Women in Finance report further reinforcing the need for change around the stigma of flexible working and parental leave to ensure that women are not held back in their careers.

Jessica Chivers, CEO of The Talent Keeper Specialists and author of Mothers Work! How to Get a Grip on Guilt and Make a Smooth Return to Work (Hay House, 2011), says “Clients are always asking us what other organisations are doing in this space. They’re keen for confirmation that they’re not missing anything obvious as well as looking for other best practices they can weave into their policies and practices. Benchmarking will give employers the information they’re looking for and cross-pollinate practices from different sectors.”

 

[1] Private Members’ Bills – or backbench Bills – are introduced by individual MPs or members of the Lords rather than by the Government. As with other Public Bills their purpose is to change the law as it applies to the general population. Very few Private Members’ Bills become law but, by creating publicity around an issue, they may affect legislation indirectly.

*We would like to give credit for the photo used in this article, but we don’t know where it came from!

 

We’re hiring – seeking an account director for very flexible PT role

Taken a career break? Love to use your client care skills again? Come and join us…

The Talent Keeper Specialists are on a mission to improve the experience of people preparing to transition in and out of extended leave (maternity, shared parental leave, adoption, sickness and sabbatical).

We’re in growth mode and need another pair of hands to support our CEO in delighting existing clients as well as spotting new opportunities. We’re calling this an account director role but actually, we think it’s more bespoke and interesting than that (we’re up for you telling us what you’d like your title to be).

The Talent Keeper Specialists launched in 2012 and to date we have worked with BlackRock, ITV, the CIPR, Twinings, Boots, Ebay, Enfield Borough Council, Anglia Ruskin University, Veolia and The Law Society of Scotland amongst others. Although we’ve come this far without external account management help, we know with additional talent we’ll go further, faster.


What are we looking for and what can we give you?

The Talent Keeper Specialists are looking for someone who can dedicate 20-25 hours/month to account management and helping us develop the business. The right candidate will help us determine the most impactful activities, scope of the role and how the hours are best distributed across the month. We offer flexibility, home-working, school hours, and home-made cake when you come and work at our place (in St Albans) and are looking for someone on a self-employed basis rather than as an FTE employee. We expect to pay around £18-£20/hour depending on experience.

This will be an interesting, enjoyable role for at least six months. Should we enjoy working together it could roll on and on and become a bigger deeper role. If it’s a shot of mind fodder you’re looking for before getting back into a bigger role we think this opportunity will boost your confidence and make a great proof point for future interviews. Or perhaps it’ll be a starting point for your freelancing career? Either way it’s a great stepping stone.

Why are we seeking someone who’s taken a break?

We believe once a tenacious, client-focussed, bright mind; always a tenacious, client-focussed, bright mind. We know you’ll be energised by the prospect of helping us bring a structured, organised approach to delighting our clients, and helping us bring new ones on board, given how close our mission is to your heart. We’re certain you’ll give us your absolute best.

Who’s our ideal candidate?

We’d love to meet people who have experience in B2B relationship management. Familiarity with HR professionals or experience working with financial services or professional services companies would be a bonus. We need a vivacious, organised, self-starter who’s excited by the challenge of helping us continue to delight existing clients whilst acquiring new ones.

Our ideal candidate will definitely have the attributes we’ve listed under “cake” and maybe the things we’ve listed under “cream,” and if you’ve got the cherry on the top…well…we can’t wait to eat you! Err, meet you!

Cake (essential)

  • Relationship management experience in a commercial setting – and knowledge of relevant tools/frameworks to assist in client management
  • Good listener, enjoys making people feel special and making new connections
  • Tenacious, savvy, good at anticipating client needs
  • Keen eye for spotting commercial opportunities
  • Lover of lists, notebooks, systems and processes
  • Understanding of the world we work in – or a desire to learn about it
  • Equipped to work from home – self-starter who is comfortable working solo, has own laptop/PC and suitable work space

Cream (preferable)

  • Insight into, or direct experience of, working with a small, ambitious business
  • Insight into, or direct experience of, working in or with large organisations
  • Able to work confidently with strong characters (speak up, positively challenge and put ideas forward)

Cherry on the top (amazing but not essential)

  • Social media skills
  • Blogging experience/lover of writing to persuade/inform
  • Knowledge/insight into working with HR professionals and business leaders
  • Lives in or very close to St Albans

 

Role profile

We want to find someone who’s fired up about working with us. Someone who thinks this is a genuinely cool and enviable role, who believes in what we’re doing and wants to be part of making the world a better place for people returning to work.

You’re the client relations expert so we want to shape the role with you – we don’t know what we don’t know! You’ll be working closely with our CEO and we think the following activities will be involved:

  • Developing a strategy for how we manage our clients
  • Creating a plan for keeping in touch with our ‘top tier’ clients
  • Researching what’s happening in our clients’ worlds
  • Identifying ways to ‘add value’ and delight our clients such as signposting resources/events that might be of interest to our clients to build trust and make them feel special
  • Contributing content suggestions for our newsletters
  • Liaising with clients at key points in a project/programme to make sure everyone has the information they need at the right time
  • Liaising with our associate coach team
  • Producing feedback reports to share with clients at the end of a programme/project/pilot
  • Working with our CEO to identify business development opportunities
  • Creating proposal decks to send to potential clients
  • Suggesting new ways of doing things
  • Keeping a hand on the tiller when our CEO is on holiday/out of the office

This is absolutely not a personal assistant role. We have the brilliant Trish who takes care of scheduling meetings and admin bits and bobs, and she’ll be on hand to support you too.

 

How do I apply?

Please send us a copy of your CV and up to 300 words or 3 minutes of you talking to camera. Tell us what excites you about working with The Talent Keeper Specialists and what would get us excited about you! E-mail your intro to jc@talentkeepers.co.uk by Friday 27th April. We’ll let you know whether we’d like to meet you for an informal interview by Friday 4th May. If yes, we’ll be in touch to co-ordinate diaries for an interview w/c 7th May (or week after if that’s proving tricky).

Find out more about us

Have a mosey around the site and see what we’re sharing on Twitter @TalentKeepersUK
Jessica Chivers (founder) https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessicachivers and @jesschivers

 

What we told the Treasury Inquiry on Women and Finance

The average cost of childcare across the UK ranges from £213/week for a registered childminder to £512/week plus tax and NI for nannies, with nurseries sitting in between. In London, our financial centre, the cost rises to £276/week for a childminder, £278/week for a day nursery and £616 plus tax and NI for a nanny (50 hours/week). [Source: Family and Childcare Trust]. This means a family living in London, working full time with one child, without access to free childcare – provided by a grandparent for example – needs to earn a minimum of £14,352 (childminder cost) after tax and the cost of commuting, simply to break even.

Many families take the view that it is better to make the financial sacrifice in the early years in order to keep both careers on track, rather than suffer the huge financial and career penalties that are known to accrue to women who take large chunks of time out. For example, see the work of Mary Gregory and Sarah Connolly.

The financials are only one part of the childcare story though. Women in financial services are often married to men in financial services and herein lies a big problem. Of the hundreds of women we have talked with in financial services who are returning post maternity or a longer career break, many talk about their husbands/partners feeling unable to be as ‘active’ a father as they are a mother. This is because there simply isn’t encouragement for fathers, or men more generally, to work part time or set boundaries about finish times (to collect children from nursery for example) and when they can or can’t travel. This problem becomes more acute the more senior they become and both planned and unplanned (last minute) facetime with clients involving travel (often international) intensifies. We’ve coached many women in financial services who talk about needing to swap roles once they become a mother because they can’t see a way to continue in a ‘demanding’ role and be back in time for when the nursery closes or the nanny needs to leave. “Demanding” is often code for facetime expectations; needing to be able to drop everything for a client at the last minute and work late into the evening if necessary to please the client/win a piece of business. The default setting is that they trade down or switch roles because it’s seemingly unthinkable for their male partner/husband to do so. We believe limits on mothers’ careers in finance will persist until the culture changes such that men in finance are as likely as their female colleagues to:

  • Feel comfortable asking for flexible/part time work options
  • Make requests for flexible working/part-time roles
  • Actually work flexibly/part time
  • Be vocal about constraints such as needing to be at home to relieve the nanny
  • Be the person primarily responsible for thinking about/actioning tasks that relate to the home and children.

Some suggested solutions:

  • A campaign from the Treasury to run alongside or be part of the Women in Finance Charter to encourage men to explore part-time and flexible working possibilities.
  • Individual FS institutions raising awareness of the opportunities and benefits of men working part time and/or flexibility.
  • Individual institutions showcasing senior males who work PT and/or flexibly.
  • Individual institutions gathering data on expectant fathers and encouraging them to take shared parental leave (and paying it at full pay). On this point, also see this helpful article on how employers can increase the number of men taking Shared Parental Leave.

My contribution to this inquiry on behalf of The Talent Keeper Specialists was made in collaboration with Genderbuzz, under whose name this submission appears.

Click here for a full list of submissions.

Client case study – Creating a coaching culture, Enfield Council

The Challenge

case studyEnfield Council is on a mission to transform the way it delivers services because the way people transact in the wider world has changed. Transforming the way people work at the Council was at the heart of the challenge for Head of Organisational Learning & Development, Jo Clemente. Jo talked to us about three key shifts she wanted to make:

  • Colleagues working more independently and make decisions
  • Colleagues being more curious in order to make changes
  • Line managers encouraging and developing staff to find their own solutions.

Coaching Triads

The Solution

The Solution

Enfield Borough Council’s Head of Organisational Development, Jo Clemente, approached The Talent Keeper Specialists to develop a day’s immersion in coaching for line managers that would:

  • Challenge the idea that a directive style of leadership gets the best results.
  • Explain the purpose of coaching conversations and the benefits for team members, line managers and customers.
  • Introduce essential skills and provide a safe place to experiment with them.
  • Provide an opportunity to see coaching in action, be coached and be a coach.
  • Leave participants feeling energised about using the coaching skills outside the training room.

The Outcome

35 Council employees took part in the pilots (and not just the eager beavers who usually put their hands up to be involved) and at the end of the sessions:

  • 100% of participants agreed the content was relevant to them
  • 100% felt actively involved and that they would make use of what they had learned
  • 100% said they would recommend the course to their colleagues.

Along with positive anecdotal feedback these metrics provided a good case for the Council commentto add the course to their broader suite of learning offerings. All managers now have an objective in their PDPs around demonstrating their commitment to moving the Council towards a coaching culture. Attending the course has been a positive starting point for 140 mangers to date:

  • “It provided me with so much more than I thought it would. The most enjoyable and beneficial training I have done in a long time.”
  • “I have already identified specific action points that I want to share and work on with my team.”
  • “I thought the course was presented by a knowledgeable trainer who made the content very relevant to our requirements.”
  • “I found it fascinating to see the difference it made to people when someone takes the time to listen to them. The practice sessions following the learning were really useful.”
  • “A refreshing and most welcome course. Clearly explained and useful to individuals in the workplace. I stayed engaged all day.”

Sustaining the learning

After the day’s immersion participants are invited to attend two “let’s talk coaching” action learning sets, spaced four weeks apart to sustain the learning. It’s a safe space to practice skills, help each other and continue the coaching activity and the aim is that the groups become self-sustaining.

Enfield Borough Council’s Feedback

“The training from Jessica has been extremely well received and were always client_viewoversubscribed.  Mangers have enjoyed learning a new skills and the organization will benefit from the coaching approach to work.  The action learning sets have also been very successful and helped to embed the learning and enable manages to practice their skills in a safe environment.  We are just starting to see the changes, with managers being more confident to use the skills they have learnt and really believing that coaching is the way to help with the huge changes in the council.” Jo Clemente, Head of Organisational Development, Enfield Borough Council.

 

 

Thanks to Jo Clemente and Kathryn Lammas from Enfield Borough Council for this case study https://new.enfield.gov.uk

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