Benevolent Society : Developing new leadership skills with Fast Start Coaching

When Wendy Cabot began Fast Start Coaching with Learning Quest in February 2012, she never anticipated it would have such a profound influence on both her leadership style and attitude to work.

Less than six months later, The Benevolent Society Regional Manager for the New England region says the experience was life-changing, and she has rediscovered a new joy in her work.

“I’d been in my role for six years, but a recent restructure meant I now had four quite senior people reporting to me who were each located several hours drive away,” says Wendy. “Whereas previously I’d made all the decisions, this new reporting structure required a more consultative and collaborative management style.”

“The Fast Start Coaching came at just the right time for my development needs.”

“The first few sessions I found myself downloading my frustrations, and it was great to have the coach validate my reactions in certain situations. However, as the weeks went by and I began implementing various strategies from the sessions, I could feel a real shift taking place in my leadership style.”

“One of the really useful things I learnt was to take a helicopter view on pressure point situations and identify what voices need to be heard before reaching a decision.”

“In a relatively short space of time, I started becoming much more effective in my work and having a lot more fun in the process.”

Wendy completed five Fast Start Coaching sessions over a six-month period. The initial session, which was conducted by phone and email, required some pre-reading on the day and a role play. The other coaching sessions were held on Skype.

“It was great to be able to immerse myself in conversations about my leadership style with my coach,” says Wendy. “It was a completely safe environment to frankly discuss challenges that I was experiencing.”

“I found myself starting to quarantine the time set aside for my coaching. And I can’t believe how much progress we made in such a short space of time.”

“I view myself differently now and the contribution that I can make to my company and community. Not only am I happier in my work, but I’ve learnt how to handle difficult situations more effectively and not put too much pressure on myself by carrying a bigger load than I need to.”

“I’ve already suggested the course to a few of my colleagues and have no hesitation in recommending it to other managers.”