One Client’s Leadership Coaching Story
The Client: Amanda (not her real name) was a regional manager of a national nonprofit organization recently promoted to her position after ten years in other roles. The new role involved leading 90 staff members and managing a network of 140 strategic partners. Amanda’s supervisor requested that a DTA coach work with her to assist her in making the transition.
The Challenge: Amanda came to the role at a time when her organization was making a number of changes that were causing disruption both internally and with the network partners. Pressure to achieve long-term goals had increased, creating a lot of stress. Amanda saw that there would be problems communicating the new organizational vision as well as implementing the new organizational changes. She saw system leadership as her main challenge. She wanted to work on improving her ability to engage, align, and motivate people. She also wanted to develop her new leadership team.
The Process: Over a 12-week period, Amanda met via Zoom with her coach on a weekly basis. Her goals included managing increasingly difficult relations with the network partners and helping her staff navigate the internal changes being mandated by her organization. Amanda and her coach worked on one new principle or strategy each week. These included designing a strategic planning session with representatives of the network coalition, a collaborative process for developing a preferred future, strategies for resolving conflict and building trust, and a strategy for overcoming resistance to change. Amanda and her coach also worked on her personal leadership style with emphasis on knowing when to involve others in decisions and when to delegate. This included an exploration of Emotional Intelligence strategies. Amanda also used DTA principles of team development to diagnose and address the needs of her new leadership team.
Results: Both Amanda and her supervisor reported that the coaching experience had been very positive. Among the outcomes Amanda pointed out were:
- “The meeting with the network partners went well. We were able to unload a lot of preconceived notions, barriers, and tensions. Now we can move forward”
- “We instituted a better format/agenda for monthly network steering committee meetings.”
- “I feel good about all of this. I love the challenge of problem solving. Most of my team feels good.”
- “I am not naturally charismatic; but now I am getting support from my superiors.”
- “I am using the DTA change model to build commitment and engage with my staff.”