Alison Bennett worked with Macmillan in October, coaching members of the ambulance service. Providing training to support with giving end of life care. It is
increasingly important for the Ambulance crew to take on a bigger role in our society today and a great resource for that is the Macmillan website
Macmillan with the help of coaches can assist workplaces in supporting their employees with cancer
Alison: 'Got to know so much more about MacMillan cancer support recently & have the highest regard. They are both a client & an enormous personal support currently.'
Nutricia UK Ltd recognised the potential benefits that developing a coaching culture and style of leadership could bring to:
The company had previously invested considerable time and money in training workshops for groups of managers in coaching; these had been positively evaluated but had little real impact on every day management behaviour. A significant turning point came with the delivery of a powerful Leadership programme that provided a catalyst for changed behaviour; this was supported by a greater commitment to performance review. However, enduring behavioural changes still seemed elusive and so the Company launched a number of ‘coaching groups’ (Action Learning Sets) designed to:
Over a two year period the initiative grew to encompass two thirds of the management group in regular peer coaching with impressive gains in understanding, capability and commitment to
With a higher profile for coaching, interest growing steadily and tangible results both in terms of improved approaches and changed behaviours, a strong platform for coaching was built.
The client was a young HR professional with 4-5 years experience both in HR operational roles and a specialist role in Compensation and Benefits.
She had been identified by her organisation as ‘high potential’, demonstrating a keen mind and an ability to deliver great results across a range of people initiatives.
However, her Line Manager identified an issue around self belief and it's impact on her ability to ‘influence’ senior people in the organisation, which she recognised in part. Similar themes had emerged in feedback from other internal stakeholders and there was a strong desire from the client to develop enhanced skills in this area.
She fully engaged in the coaching relationship and was quickly benefitting from the opportunity to reflect on her behaviour in a range of different interactions with others.
A moment of significant self awareness came as we explored her behaviour in interactions in which she felt ‘less experienced’ or ‘under- valued’; This new awareness provided the basis for trying out new approaches, particularly around the language used and the internal dialogue going on.
The result of this insight and the ongoing support of the coach to embed new behaviours was increased confidence, greater impact on senior people and unlocked potential.
The conflict was amongst ‘Professional Partners’ in an organisation that had recently undergone expansion and considerable change.
I was approached as a mediator by one of the senior partners who expressed that the Partnership was completely ‘stuck’ and could not see a way forward; a complete breakdown of relationships was putting considerable strain on the service that the organisation provided to its clients, as well as having a significant negative impact on the health & wellbeing of several of those involved.
The trigger for the escalation of the conflict was a staff change that brought to light a perceived performance & conduct issue, resulting in an internal investigation. There were very different perspectives on the seriousness of this issue, why it had arisen, and the way in which it was handled. The parties had become entrenched in their positions around this.
Some of the partners had a long history of personal friendship as well as many years working together in a tough and demanding environment. Early exploratory conversations were characterised by:
A strong fear of meeting the other parties and raising interpersonal issues that had, in some cases, existed ‘under the surface’ for many years
A lack of hope about any positive outcomes.
Sadness about the situation and the loss of relationships that were highly valued in the past.
Concern about the reputational risk
A full mediation was carried out resulting in the agreed departure of one of the partners and changes to the way in which partners support and challenge one another.
Conflict had arisen between two members of a small team in the hospitality industry. They were
required to work closely together on a daily basis to deliver a service to clients, but they had very
different perspectives on what was a priority within the role. One saw the primary importance of
efficient and thorough delivery of detailed tasks, the other the importance of warm and friendly
relationships with clients.
There was frequent tension around the delivery of their daily duties and responsibilities and this
escalated into negative exchanges, including personal insults. At the point when the mediation took
place one party had been absent from work for several weeks due to sickness described on the
medical note as stress related. This led to some anxiety for this person about participating in the
mediation process and meeting with the other person which required sensitive handling.
Both parties later shared that they had previously experienced bullying behaviours directed towards
them in other settings, which may have impacted on their feelings and reactions towards each
A full mediation was carried out a significant turning point in which was the moment when both
parties recognised that they both wanted the same thing – to do a really good job! With a common
goal and much greater awareness of each other’s approach, it was possible to agree a way forward
that worked for both parties and which supported a successful working relationship moving forward.