Case Study – Dr Gemma Jerome, Robinswood Hill Country Park: Building with Nature Manager

Background

When Gemma and her manager identified that she would benefit from support with some areas of business management, she sought help from Corine. The coaching sessions helped her see things in a completely different way, giving her not only the business skills she was looking for, but so much more besides.

The Problem – How best to develop in a role

When Gemma and her manager sat down for a performance review, they agreed there were a few areas of ‘opportunity’ in terms of maximising the project management work Gemma was doing, by developing some key business skills and giving her the ability to operate more independently.
Gemma’s manager suggested that a business coach could work well. Gemma was unsure about the idea, having preconceived notions about what a business coach would be like and whether it was the right approach for her. But Gemma says as soon as she met Corine her fears were put to rest: “I could tell we were going to work well together because she was very person-centred.” It was important to Gemma that the relationship was right.

What Did We Do?

We arranged for Corine and Gemma to undertake regular one-to-one sessions.
While, initially, the request was to help Gemma improve and develop a set of specific business skills to help her overcome a number of operational challenges, it became clear to Corine and Gemma that there were other areas that needed addressing.
After delving into Gemma’s history and education, it became clear that there was no obvious reason why she would be struggling with the skills in question. Corine suggested a 360-degree Emotional Capital Report as a way of determining where Gemma’s strengths lay in terms of emotional intelligence. And also whether there were any areas of weakness that we could work on for positive impact. Corine facilitated a session between Gemma and her manager to help decide where to focus for the most positive impact on the business.
Corine and Gemma came up with a set of public and private goals that were measurable to allow for an assessment of whether the coaching had been a success. After all, Gemma’s employers were paying for the sessions and wanted to see results.
Across the course of six months, Corine addressed various topics with Gemma, offering her tools and techniques to help improve business skills in areas such as financial and project management and leadership development. They also looked at more personal skills such as confidence.

And the Results?

Gemma reports that thanks to the work she undertook with Corine, her manager’s involvement in her projects is now less than 25% of what it was.
But the changes to her personally go far beyond this.
In Gemma’s opinion, the main thing she got from the coaching was that Corine gave her a new way of thinking about herself. Yes, she learned useful tools, techniques and business skills that she still uses now, but she says that looking critically at what success would look like for her, along with the emotional intelligence results, helped her to realise that she had a blockage in terms of confidence. In some ways she was ‘afraid of her own success.’
She says:
“That was a real curveball for me…that the thing inhibiting me, might actually be me.”
Gemma says she found this realisation empowering and it has had long lasting effects.
She notes that it would have been hard to justify this side of it to her manager had it not been wrapped up in the coaching package – even though, interestingly, this is what she feels has had the most far reaching impact on her work.

What Gemma Said

“The most important thing for our coaching relationship was that I didn’t feel like there were any no go areas. I could be honest. I felt I trusted her – in fact her ability to build up that level of trust within a professional one on one coaching relationship is exceptional. And it made all the difference.”

“Corine talks about leadership coaching, which is true, but I don’ t think that fully captures what it is she does – there’s something holistic about it – she considers the whole person. And that’s why the results are so good.
We did quite a lot of laughing and I felt she engaged with me in a really committed way. She would always go the distance to get to the point where we felt we’d made or found a resolution to something together.”

Dr Gemma jerome

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