VOX-POP SERIES – Coaching Case Studies #5

A Coaching Case Study as reported by a leadership participant in my 2018 UK Coaching Master Class programme.

Coaching Case Studies

This is the fifth article in my Coaching Case Study Series. Vox-Pop is from the Latin vox populi and refers to popular sentiment or opinion on a subject – in other words, the voice of the people.

In this series of Blog Posts I explore the sentiments and opinions of leadership participants in my Coaching Master Class (CMC) programme. What do they think about the main coaching topics we explore together in this programme?

I look at STAR Coaching Case Study reported by a Leaders of Leaders participating in a UK programme in 2018. By this time my CMC programme had evolved to version 3 and I was using a much more comprehensive STAR template for coaching case study feedback. I look at how the Leader used the GROW Coaching Model and the Coaching Tools taught in the CMC Workshop, and the outcomes they achieved with coaching.

The Coaching Master Class program runs over a 12-18 week period. We kick off with a full day workshop for Leaders of Leaders and Functional Leaders who work in the same team and report in to the same boss. I then complete a series of follow up coach-the-coach sessions according to the ARCH Model (Activity, Results, Capability & Handover). One of these sessio0mns follows a Coaching Case Study. There is more on this in my 2016 article ‘Coaching the Coach – Who, Why, When & What?

The notes I take during these coach-the-coach session give me valuable insights into how programme participants are taking on board and applying the learning from the workshop. Here is a Coaching Case Study as reported by a participant in a programme I ran for a division of Maersk in the UK 2018. It is formatted according to the STAR model – what was the Situation or Task, what Action did you take, what Result did you achieve including your own personal learning?

Leader of Leaders Case Study

Situation/Task
What was the Situation / Task

I identified a cross department issue – our export customer service operation were not informing shipping services of carrier failures.

Further investigation revealed that carrier performance was not being monitored, non-conformities were not being raised and root cause analysis and corrective actions were not being logged. All of this added up to ISO Standard non-compliance issues.

Action
How did you clarify current performance and set the scene?

This was clearly a team issue, not down to any one individual. I started by asking the team if they knew what the ISO Standard was for, what it meant to us and the potential impact with our clients and providers of not having it in place.

I explained that the aforementioned situation is unacceptable and technically non-compliant with ISO, and that we must have a process in place to capture this information.

Goal. How did you engage the individual in the Goal for the coaching relating to business priorities?

I asked the team how they thought we could rapidly implement a workable solution which captured the required ISO issues in a way that they could be logged. The goal being to put the process and systems in place.

Reality. How did you encourage the Coachee to assess the current situation?

As a team we devised a coaching plan to address these current issues:

  • The need to understand the importance of ISO and educate each other on ISO processes.
  • To solicit feedback as to how, with the current process and systems in place, we might capture the data we needed to assess compliance.
  • To use the first shipment that did not depart as booked as an opportunity to get the team together and assess where and why the current process had produced a non-conformity.
  • Then, with the benefit of our ISO education, and using the appropriate tools, to draft a new process.

By looking at our current reality this way it encourage team members to recognize the importance of shipments departing as booked, resulting in customer satisfaction and compliance to the ISO Standard.

Options & Way-forward. What Options were considered, how were they evaluated? How did you and the Coachee agree on the Way-forward?

We then discussed options for how we embedded the new processes and measures into our working practices:

  • How we engaged with other departments to monitor shipments.
  • We thrashed out from the existing process, where the responsibility best lay for each step in the new process.
  • We identified where the decision making needed to be taken, the role of the team leader, and how data and information should flow to the export customer service team.
Tools. How did you apply the core coaches’ toolkit: purposeful questions, levels of listening, challenging perceptions & feedback in coaching?

Purposeful questions and reasoning why we need to this.

Levels of listening; understand team member’s concerns about responsibility, structure and process.

Challenging perceptions: Why ISO is important and a necessity.

Challenging perceptions: Why client experience is paramount. 

All of this was done to raise people’s understanding of the issues and areas of concern.

Results
How would you evaluate and describe the success in this case – yours as the Coach, the Coachee’s and for the business?

How did we know your coaching was working?  The process was fully implemented and working. There were no red flags.

Success has been demonstrated because the process is in place and we can now performance manage our vendors effectively.

Better customer experience, less reactive communications with vendors.

Metrics. Please be specific and quantify the business/KPI/MWB outcomes of the actions

KPI – ‘Shipped as Booked’ will improve through better management. Therefore, client experience will improve, business retention and growth will also improve.

Explain how and why a coaching approach to this situation/task was successful.

From a qualitative perspective team engagement was strong. Their motivation was customer excellence. The coaching also made the team of the importance of compliance with the ISO Standard and the importance of ‘Shipped as Booked’. We are also more confident now as a team moving ahead. We know we can identify before they become non-compliant. We also know we can generate good options to fix issues. I can see how this will give us a good payback over the balance of the financial year. We are already beating our ‘Shipped as Booked’ targets. Our internal ISO team gave us a clean bill of health so we have now confidently booked an external audit.

Further Reading

Explore the Coaches Toolkit on this Blog for more information on the Tools and Techniques mentioned above.

Search ‘Leadership Interview’ on this Blog for more insights from leaders on how they applying coaching in their day to day work.

Read more about my Coaching Master Class program.

Author: Trevor Sherman

Trevor Sherman: Author, Blogger and Coach. What do I do? I develop leadership training material and personal learning modules. I am the owner and operator of this Blog. I coach senior executives for their development and role transition. I am based in Northamptonshire UK and operate globally - in person and through technology.

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