Case Study: Coaching with Aptimore
Mike is a senior finance professional managing a large team. Following a development assessment process, Mike was recommended to receive coaching to help him build his self-awareness, his interpersonal repertoire and his empathy. The assessment indicated that he was extremely intelligent, with a strong work ethic. It also identified that he had a marked tendency towards black and white thinking.
He had received feedback about his brusqueness and the fact that people felt a little fearful of him. He himself experienced a lot of impatience with other people at work and could frequently feel rising frustration and negative emotion.
A program of six, two-hour face to face coaching sessions was agreed. Once the coaching was underway, it was clear to the coach that Mike had had very little grounding in essential management and leadership skills. As a result, the coaching would need to be overlayed with a level of ‘content’ input to help him fill in the gaps in his knowledge and insight.
Aptimore was identified as a way of leapfrogging some of these gaps by enabling Mike to target the particular skills and frameworks that would be most useful to him. Mike and his coach agreed which Aptimore units he would complete before each coaching session. He was able to absorb the core content and receive feedback on his skill and knowledge base, and importantly, put the models and insight to work through the interactive exercises and case studies on the Aptimore platform. This freed up space in the coaching sessions to make sense of, reflect, design experiments and generate new awareness and insight into himself and his interactions with others.
There were a number of modules within the core Aptimore suite that had a very significant impact. One of these was Empathy. This enabled him to see how he had been interpreting situations through his own world lens and in particular, helped him see that others had their own emotions that were different to his. This was a revelation to Mike, who suddenly understood that he needed to listen and reflect back, rather than assume that others felt like he did.
Mike started to ‘show up’ differently at work. He took time to speak to others about non-work issues, to soften his emails and to ask people how they were. He had been so focused on performing well and delivering tasks, not appreciating the importance of the interpersonal relationships and not understanding why he was not being as successful as he was striving to be.
At the end of the program, Mike’s coach felt that whilst the coaching intervention alone would have had a significant impact, the ‘fast forward’ effect of the Aptimore program had helped to accelerate his development and achieve a transformation in his behavior and insight.
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