Rachel Abel is a graduate of Executive Central Coaching Academy, and a General Manager in one of Australia’s top universities. Rachel told us she enrolled in the Coaching Academy program to develop her coaching skills within her role.
“I’d previously had a transformative experience of being coached myself, with Executive Central’s Reyna Matthes,” she said. “The coaching was great for my own professional development and I wanted to support my team in that same way.
“I’d always taken a coaching approach to team leadership but I wanted a more structured approach – something tried and tested – so I could be completely confident in the outcomes for my staff.”
Rachel confirmed that found that structured approach she was looking for and saw immediately, positive results.
“I was able to bring the learning back into my everyday practice immediately,” she said. “I’ve had some great conversations about issues like delegation, communication and career planning. One thing I really like about the program was that after every workshop I was able to bring something new back that I could put into practice and I saw the positive impact straight away.”
Rachel pointed to Executive Central’s Four Hats of Coaching, which consists of facilitator, mentor, educator and consultant, as one of the most poignant takeaways from Coaching academy. The Four Hats of Coaching is a unique coaching philosophy practiced only by Executive Central. Managing Director Rob Balmer says the philosophy underpins Executive Central’s exclusive methodology.
“A skilled executive coach is able to flex between the four roles of educator, mentor, facilitator and consultant,” Rob said, “with each role bringing a specific skill set to the table.”
Rachel said the Four Hats philosophy helped her identify and balance areas of her coaching practice that could help her unlock the potential in her staff coachees.
“I think the Educator role comes most naturally to me,” she said. “I’m always sharing articles and snippets of learning. The Coaching Academy helped me build on the other three roles. The training really expanded my awareness about the importance of balancing between the four roles and I think I’m now much more versatile in my approach.
“You need to tailor your approach to the person you’re working with and the program helped me think about this – what aspects I can package for the ‘coachee’ to support them in achieving their goals. As a team leader, I have to think about what’s right for that person, and for the team when coaching a group.”
When asked if Coaching Academy had helped her be more conscious of how she coached in her workplace, Rachel it had and that she also now had a range of effective tools and methods at her disposal.
“I bring more mindfulness to my role as a leader and coach after Coaching academy,” Rachel said. “I think about which tool provides the best approach for that person and context. Executive Central provides a range of diagnostic and developmental tools and what I like about them is that they are relatively simple and easy to apply for you and the coachee. That’s important when you are in the room working together. You don’t want to be struggling with some complicated process. But they are also really effective and get results.”
New confidence and skills for coaching
“I’ve been regularly offering coaching and mentoring to my team since completing the program,” Rachel said. “I’m more likely to say, ‘would you like to have a coaching conversation around that?’.
“I’m confident that I have something useful to share. I’ve already seen the impact on people and it’s lovely to watch their progress, especially with the younger staff.
“I’ve brought the coaching skills to my mentoring role as well. Mentoring younger staff is very rewarding. And with the Executive Central tools, you know you’ll get results. It’s more structured than a free-flowing conversation. And I think I’ve become a better listener, using funnelling techniques and so on. I listen more, and pick up on a lot more. Since completing the academy, I’ve been focusing on career coaching.”
Rachel said another of the most effective elements of Coaching Academy for her was being able to implement her coaching lessons and tools on a ‘live client’ during the academy program while overseen by an experienced coach.
“You get a ‘live’ client straight away,” she explained. “I think for all of us in the group the thought of this was daunting, to be frank. I trusted the three facilitators, Rob, Reyna and Glenn, and in retrospect I can see that it was the best way for the group to learn. They carefully match you with a client and of course brief that person on your trainee status.
“I think that all leaders have a responsibility for leadership development among their teams. Coaching and mentoring are often relegated to HR, however, I think all managers should be able to put those skills into practice. That way you get the best out of your staff with really high performing teams and they get the sense of empowerment that coaching brings.”
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Coaching is a critical skill for any leader. Our unique Coaching Academy gives leaders the ability and confidence to coach senior executives, high-performing teams and talented employees. It focuses staff development on individuals and empowers people to deliver better business outcomes and achieve growth in their leadership capabilities. Learn more.