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Leadership Communication and Presentation Impact

Patrick Cooney

Case Study: Patrick Cooney, WL3 Manager, IT

What prompted you to undertake personal development via executive coaching?
The coaching was all part of the leadership development program here at Tesco. Rapporta had been used in the past by a couple of people within the organisation, including my boss, who had found it very beneficial. The program was tailored to suit your own personal needs.

What were your main objectives at the beginning of the coaching?
They were very vague, but generally about communication and the way I work with people I am close to in the team either on a one-to-one basis or in small teams. I needed to improve that and make it more effective.

What were your expectations, if any, of what it would be like?
I had some advice from my boss, who had previously carried out training with Mary-Louise, in terms of the use of video during training, but other than that I had no real expectations.

How did you find the executive coaching experience with Mary-Louise?
Fantastic. It has made a huge difference in terms of communication around the office and my ability to work with people.

You have obviously achieved your objectives, and others have noticed positive changes in terms of your positive impact and communication style. How did you ensure you were getting the most from the experience?
Just by taking what Mary-Louise had taught me in the sessions and trying to apply them to my work, including in between sessions. It has involved lots of preparation and re-covering things we had covered in the sessions.

How and where have you applied your learning and insights and what have you noticed about outcomes you get, based on any changes you have made to your communication style, approach, and/or methods?
There are two strings to this. Firstly I have applied a lot of the advice I was given around speaking to both my boss and my boss’s boss in particular, and this has greatly improved our quality of communication.
Secondly, it has also really improved group communications. I have applied the things we worked on to the various meetings we have here.
I would also say that I have seen a big positive reaction from the people I deal with on a day-to-day basis. My communication has become much stronger and clearer and so when we go away from meetings there is a big lift in the quality of communications between everybody.

How has the development affected your planning, and your management and leadership approach?
I would not say it has affected my planning much but my improvement in leadership skills means I have become more confident with people and I am able to put them more at ease with me on a one-to-one basis, which is important.

What have you achieved and/or gained as a result of this experience?
I have achieved a new level of ability in terms of communication and have definitely moved up a notch there. Therefore I have gained all the benefits that go with that i.e. improved communication around the office, one-to-ones and all the other aspects I have discussed.

Mary-Louise has been known to say that communication skills are not “soft”, in fact, that they are essential business skills. What is your opinion on this?
Absolutely. I would say this is extremely important just in getting things done.
Would you consider further executive coaching sessions in future, and if so, what would you expect to gain from this?
I certainly would as there is always opportunity for everyone to keep doing what they do. I would be looking for gradual improvement which I have already achieved so far in the two sessions I have carried out.

You have said you would not hesitate to recommend executive coaching with Rapporta to other professionals – what would you tell them?
I would tell them that it is extremely practical and worthwhile. It is very focused on the individual’s approach to communication and because of that it is extremely effective.

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