Comments on the Management of Action Learning Programme
The individual comments by some members of a group regarding the sort of learning achieved.
‘I like the idea that the group identifies lots of issues but the problem holder takes what they want and need from the set’.
‘We are growing each time. There is greater honesty and people are becoming more confident’.
‘…the process works- it opens up insight to the problem holder’.
‘The formal process felt informal’.
What it did for many participants
‘It really has helped me in so many ways…..I have loads of ideas and plans now and it really has inspired us as managers’.
‘Thank you to the facilitators – they communicated everything to us in a clear concise manner’.
What they learnt about themselves
‘It really is good to talk and get it off your chest and the realisation that there are links to others’.
‘My listening skills have improved X2’.
‘…it is very empowering!’
‘When I work harder at not putting across my own beliefs I gain greater understanding of others’ issues’.
‘…how important it is to clarify issues and focus. Also how hard work life balance is for those with children’.
Reflections on how Action Learning at the Executive Level helps
‘…once I am honest with myself I can go forward easier’.
‘the added value of the inter-agency sets is that you are asked obvious questions that often you don’t get asked with your own peer group. This means that you have to spend time being clear about the complex issues, have the ability to articulate them, and then you become clear about it yourself’
‘I found it useful to be challenged about my own thought processes.
‘In my area there was a lot of uncertainty. I have taken that uncertainty and ambiguity and have got independent views on how this has moved forwards’
‘The challenge came from being with people from a different environment and seeing how they approached similar problems. It was a challenge to understand an approach different from my own, to look at things from a different perspective’
‘It has challenged and clarified my thinking and brought my thoughts together in a better way. My issue has progressed and the group has seen this. Whilst I have been caught up in the detail, they have seen the wider picture for me’
‘It is interesting that relationships are the common theme in the issue we are bringing’.
‘Many of us are struggling with similar problems in different environments. If I feel I have problems, I just have to look at what the others have. It is comforting to find others grappling with difficulties’
‘The group has helped each other to find ways through things. There is a sense of empathy and shared understanding. There is no point scoring, trying to be clever. It has been about wanting to find solutions to similar problems but in different environments’
‘It was very supportive and also challenging. It made me brave enough to face my own situation’
Our Professional Approach to Consultancy
“Stephen is a very knowledgeable and experienced leadership, learning and development professional. He has excellent facilitation and coaching skills and is comfortable working with very senior executives, chief officers, directors, managers and human resource and development specialists. He is a strategic thinker who is able to take a hands on approach when required, with strong problem solving and implementation skills. Stephen is commercially aware and has good all round business acumen, enabling him to develop solutions that contribute to the “bigger picture”
Sue Hopgood, Director of Organisational Development and Leadership, Fire and Rescue Service
“Helen, thank you so much for your unswerving support, wise counsel, energy and determination! I literally don’t know what we would have done without you”
Cynthia Bower, CEO, Care Quality Commission
Feedback on our Coaching Style
“I really enjoyed working with Stephen. I felt that he let me lead the approach and that we were able to share this approach. I was able to express myself clearly and often used pictures to explain my thoughts. In reflection of this Stephen would sometimes use images and diagrams to help describe theories and methods of management. By using the same style of communication that I did, Stephen was able to ensure I developed and learned at each session.
Stephen acknowledged that he used different styles of coaching from listening, through directive and supportive. Each one seemed natural at the time and thus evidences that these were appropriate styles for the situation. Because this was so natural, it was evident that Stephen was able to build an extremely good rapport with me (thank you!).”
Nicola Tallett, Assistant Director, Action for Children
Coaching and Emotional Competence
Following our discussions from the 360 degree “Emotionl Competency Inventory” I wanted to take the opportunity to feedback to yourself the value this process has provided to me personally.
The 20 people selected by me for this process consisted of people whom I have worked closely with in my 2 most recent posts within the organisation. Those selected varied from my immediate line manager, peers and those I have managed, as well as external agencies and some who I would consider not to be my fans. Once scored and compared against my self assessment I found that the respondents generally identified common themes across the emotional intelligence spectrum that were either classified as strengths, just short of being a strength or an area for development. In particular it has re-affirmed a common theme of being confident in myself and having that self belief to perform, which at times has no doubt held me back.
In turn I have been able to develop a personal action plan that will look at areas such as self confidence, adaptability and influence that will no doubt assist in my development both personally and within my career. The report has outlined many positive attributes but also made me think as to why they are positive and what it is I do that generates such confidence in those I interact with, thereby being much more self aware of my own emotional competencies. This is something that I can use to develop and support those I work with. In particular I found the one to one conversations we had to discuss the results of real benefit as it enabled me to discuss a number of aspects about myself and the perceptions of others and how to make the most of a given situation as well as your own insights and ideas.
I am most grateful for this opportunity and would certainly recommend this process to anyone as the outcome can only be of benefit not only to the individual but to the organisation in realising ones ability and attributes.
Inspector, UK Police Service
What you think of our Team Coaching
“Facilitated openness, a chance to take the ‘what’s so’ and ask ‘so what?’
“Excellent delivery, focused, straightforward and friendly”
“Steve is as ever a competent facilitator who has a calming influence”
“Encouraging, clear, relaxed, moving us on when needed. Professional”
“Pushed events along when they became bogged down in detail but allowed time and space to develop themes.”
Her Majesty’s Prison Service Regional Team
“Fun, factual, good pace, interactive, stretching, varied. Excellent”
“Very positive experience – moved at right pace and was a good mixture of fun and learning”
“A very worthwhile experience that has been very valuable for the team”
Strategic Planning Team, Borough Council
“I engaged Stephen and his team to help me to develop my top management team within the Specialist Operations portfolio of a large UK Police Force. I was delighted with the way in which Stephen led the events facilitating the identification of clear vision, values and goals, focussing the team on achieving quality and performance within an ethical framework.
His style is approachable and open, whilst at the same time ensuring that goals are achieved. In similar circumstances I would seek to use his considerable skills again.”
ACC, UK Police Service