ILM experiences: coaching for success
Jenny Garrett uses coaching to help managers set goals, unlock their potential and forge fulfilling careers
ILM trainer Jenny Garrett, author of Rocking Your Role, is an ILM-trained career coach. She worked with Dr Heather Pike, assistant principal of Abingdon and Witney College.
Jenny coached Heather during nine two-hour sessions over more than a year – building up the kind of ongoing supportive relationship that lies at the heart of successful coaching.
I gave her activities to create space for strategic thinking
Like many managers, Heather aspired to become a senior member of the management team, but needed an expert outside perspective to help her.
Jenny Garrett explains that an issue holding Heather back was that "she had a tendency to be overly helpful. Her team always looked to her for all the answers. As she was so busy helping her team she couldn’t be strategic enough - a vital trait for a senior management role."
"By being empathetic yet challenging, Jenny talked through situations, challenging how I did what I did and helped me to work out boundaries" says Heather.
Jenny gave Heather experimental exercises to lift her out of how she did things now, to how she needed to do things if she were to become a senior manager. Things as simple as not responding to emails too quickly or asking her staff more challenging questions to help them find their own solutions.
By the end of the coaching period, not only did Heather improve her team’s performance but she also got promoted twice – first to a director role and then to assistant principal. "By challenging my thinking, encouraging reflection and helping me to adopt a coaching approach to better manage my team, Jenny helped me to improve my management style" says Heather.