I have included a couple of client case studies from 2007 and one from 2013. Whilst every story is different, these examples tell you about each of the businesses, they challenges they were facing, the insights they had, the actions they took, the learnings they had as well as their personal blue print for success. I have included these stories to give you an idea about what is possible for you.
In their first year of business prior to coaching, this marketing services agency enjoyed an encouraging start, but by the end of the second year, a budget cut back and the loss of a major client resulted in billings falling to 20% of the first year figures. It was this loss, which was threatening the survival of the agency which prompted the Managing Partner to start coaching
Client – Managing Partner
Personal phrased business goal agreed: The freedom of doubling my monthly take home and the thrill of luxurious bonuses
Insights and actions taken
The coaching process was started by having the client identify what is working and not working in the business. Analysis was done on monthly billings per client, sources of new business, strategies for winning business, strategies for growing existing, reasons business wasn’t won. Strengths and areas of development for the key players in the agency were also identified.
The Client learnt more about his personal motivations and how they were affected the business. He also realised that as a business, they hadn’t been stretching themselves to go for anything other than the minimum. Through the coaching he was encouraged to increase his financial goal and the corresponding business goal.
Most clients are predisposed to negative self talk which is normally disempowering, and typically they are not aware of the extent to which they do so. This client realised he had a tendency to look for what might go wrong. Simply looking for what might go right changed the results he was getting. Simply changing “I’m going to have no money, into I’ve done it before, I know I can do it”, made a big difference.
He learnt that being his clients’ ally was a key part to winning/growing business. He also realised that delegating was an area of development. He needed to fully trust others to do as good or a better job than he was. He put this in hand, and started seeing the business develop without his direct input. Taking a coaching approach to leadership (i.e helping his people to think) supported the process.
The coaching enabled the client to define key USP’s, develop internal PR programmes within their clients, and set up referral partners. It became clear that they weren’t practising as many business development strategies as they could. A powerful vision was created which included the development of a full-service integrated communications agency. A vision cash flow showed what the business looked like.
The client identified his personal need for recognition which he was seeking to get met at work. A need for recognition is one of the most common needs and is seen at all levels in organisations. Coaching typically encourages clients to seek to meet their needs themselves, through relationships outside of work and through other non work related activities. This client benefited by finding more effective ways of meeting this need: including praising himself and asking close friends and family to help meet this need. We uncovered alternative ways that he could get his need for recognition identified and met outside of work – including taking up acting again.
Through the coaching, he identified that some of the pricing strategies in the business were not serving the business. We looked at his own beliefs around money, and made some changes which helped. Everyone has fears – fear of failure being one of the most common. The coaching enabled this client to handle his fear of failure before starting to celebrate the joy of his success.
Coaching is a process of learning and reminders. Through the coaching, this client learnt and was reminded of:
Client’s Personal Blue Print of Success
Hard work, persistence, patience and trust
Turnover from Sept-Dec 05 (i.e. a four month period) was up 40% vs previous 6 months.2006 turnover is up y 125% vs 2005
The client reported that the coaching supported him to feel happier, calmer and more aware during what was initially a financially challenging and scary time.
Combining the best features of a Marketing consultancy with those of a full-service, integrated agency
I have found that Karen’s coaching has helped me enormously. It’s as if she has helped me to unlock a key inside which has allowed me to react to the world in a new way. The effects of this on my home life my mood and my business have been spectacular.
This client is CEO and Founder of the Digital Workplace Group (DWG) which provides research, consulting and expert measurement for large organisations on the digital transformation of work.
Insights and actions taken
The coaching process was started by having the client identify what is working and not working in the business. Analysis was carried out on the following areas: marketing and sales, admin and back office, service delivery, commercial, innovation, organisation, strategy, resourcing, environment and communication. He also rated what was and wasn’t working in the area of passion and care.
We also reviewed what contributed to him feeling confident and what detracted from him feeling this way. Inconsistent confidence levels and/or lower confidence levels than they would like to have, is one of the most common areas that clients seek coaching in. Coaching is extraordinarily effective in raising and sustaining confidence levels.
As he renewed the analysis, he became more and more confident that the new structure would work. It also became clear to him how he could manifest passion and care more visibly, for example, via key note talks.
In checking how he was feeling, he reported feeling under pressure. When the idea of reducing the size of the goal was discussed, and the concept of “playing for the goal” was included which allowed him to reframe the goal as an adventure with no attachment to the outcome, the pressure was immediately alleviated.
The more he involved his team in his business, he realised that the business was less and less dependent on his input
As the coaching continued, the client reported enjoying work more and more, having even better judgement, and more passion for work. He realised that he was feeling more confident than he had been acknowledged himself for. He acknowledged he already had good habits vis a vis getting things done – being both structured and flexible.
Client’s Personal Blue Print for Success
Remember my winning formula: stick to it, and adapt should it no longer be winning
This business now (2013) has over 150 major globally. The coaching has positively impacted all areas of his life – personally and professionally.
I have been involved in coaching with Karen Skehel for 10 years, simply because coaching with Karen works. I focus pretty exclusively on the results which is why I have stayed loyal to her. Karen is a steady hand on the tiller and I would recommend her as a coach to anyone.”
Chairman The Intranet Benchmarking Forum
In 2007, I was approached by Time Out to coach one of their most sceptical editors, Simone Baird. The article which reviews Simone’s coaching experience is below. Click on the image to read the article
|Karen coaches Time Out magazine’s Simone Baird, a self-confessed sceptic – January 2008After only six weeks, Simone tells readers that coaching does work and that she feels more inspired than ever before……|
Although I primarily work with entrepreneurs and business owners, I do offer a small number of personal coaching programmes to private clients. The rates quoted in the article apply to these personally funded programmes.