My client was operations director of a company that manufactured components for military and civil aircraft. Her HR director had proposed coaching to help her overcome ‘communication issues’ dealing with a predominantly male executive team and workforce. These appeared to be affecting her performance and wellbeing.
We soon discovered that, while the client was experiencing difficulty in her communications, it was nothing to do with gender; instead, it was because of a conflict between her vision for the future of the company and the views of her peers. This was creating stress and a sense of being unimportant.
I helped her think deeply about her willingness to become a true leader and start to be more influential, with all the battles that would involve. Once she was clear this was the route she wanted to go, we devised a strategy to mobilise support and maximise her impact. This involved influencing the MD and chairman and winning support for her ideas from her fellow executives.
We devoted several coaching sessions to helping her identify and develop her strengths and enhance her resilience. We also created a new briefing process for all staff to kick-start better communication across the company.
By the end of our work, the client reported that coaching had renewed her commitment as well as giving practical ways of influencing and communicating. The company was facing significant challenges and she was determined to keep it viable and safeguard future employment. The HR director noted a significant change in the client’s energy as well as agreeing to collaborate with her to implement the changes needed.