In a nutshell...

The Logistics manager of this organisation was struggling with the people aspects of their role and was experiencing a number of skill gaps which were having a detrimental impact on their performance and career. An initial needs analysis revealed that the underlying issue was low self confidence, and unless this was addressed there could be no change. We worked with the manager for a 12-month period during which time we focused on increasing self awareness and restoring confidence while at the same time building their capacity to communicate and manage people more effectively. Upon completion of the coaching programme, the manager experienced a more open and fearless approach when managing their staff team as well as interacting with colleagues. There was a marked difference in their capacity and skill when conducting both team and individual meetings. As a result of the improved effectiveness at work their work-life balance stabilised. In relation to health, exercise and wellbeing the results were clearly there for all to see: the manager was a happier, fitter, slimmer and healthier individual.

Executive Coaching and Development

Assisting a senior manager in an international manufacturing organisation to develop their communication and relationship skills and close a number of performance gaps.


An international manufacturing organisation.


The Logistics manager of this organisation contacted us directly to seek assistance after receiving negative feedback during their annual appraisal meeting. The meeting had highlighted a number of skill and behavioural gaps which were having a detrimental effect on how they were managing their team and their own performance.


From a task point of view, this individual was very effective and had delivered successfully for many years in different roles. The gaps in question were all concerned with the ‘people’ aspect of their role, in particular their communication and relationship skills. They were experiencing inadequacies with both their staff and their colleagues on the senior management team. In a 360 degree initiative they were described as being either ‘disengaged’ or ‘insensitive’. There were also issues relating to personal organisation and work-life balance. And while this individual was an invaluable member of the senior team, they felt that if the people aspect of their role was left unaddressed it would make any chances for promotion most unlikely and their career could be capped. We were asked to work with the manager on an individual basis and provide the support and assistance needed in order to turn the situation around.


The very talents and aptitudes that made this particular individual excel at all things logistic and process-centred were also the very things which made them struggle with the people side of things. In addition, the gaps were evident in both their professional and personal circumstances which made the task ahead somewhat daunting. A further obstacle was that the manager engaged in a lot of self-criticism and harboured quite a number of limiting ideas e.g. ‘I’m not up to the job’, ‘I’m shy’, ‘I’m not good with people’, ‘I’m not good enough’ and so on. These ideas played like a looped recording and resulted in a reluctance to engage with colleagues, address difficult issues with staff or attend to any situation that had the potential for conflict, both inside and outside work. One of the first challenges was to remove this critical element and replace it with the much more productive and positive discipline of self-examination.


All change is internal. So ultimately, it all starts and ends with ourselves. When faced with the need to eliminate aspects of poor or ineffective behaviour, we have to appreciate that such behaviour is merely a symptom of an internal cause, and it is this cause which must be addressed. In the manager’s case, the cause of the poor behaviour and performance was low self-confidence. So, rather than trying to tackle the myriad of behavioural issues that had been identified, we proposed that the programme begin with a singular focus: building confidence. Only once a certain level of confidence was restored would we then be in a position to work on the various skill gaps.

What we did

Following an initial needs analysis meeting, we proposed a 12-month development programme which consisted of the following six components:

  1. Raising Self Awareness
  2. Practice & Building Confidence
  3. Breaking Habits
  4. Increasing Energy & Wellbeing
  5. Education & Inspiration
  6. Building Capacity & Skill

Raising Self Awareness

As with all of our interventions, a large focus was on raising the manager’s self awareness, without which no change would have been possible.

Practice & Building Confidence

A vital component this (and any) development process was the twin aspect of practice followed by review and report back. In the intervening periods between the monthly sessions the manager was tasked with applying various directions and practices in different circumstances in their daily work. These tasks were designed to build confidence as well as act as testing grounds for the needs and issues being addressed during the coaching sessions. For example, at one point the manager had to meet with a certain colleague to discuss a particular issue; at another time they had to address a delicate issue of performance with a staff member using a particular framework and skill set. The opportunity for reviewing their progress and addressing whatever obstacles had arisen was provided at the beginning of each subsequent session.

Increasing Energy & Wellbeing

The manager’s energy levels were low due to a number of aspects which we identified and addressed during the programme: On the physical side of things the problem was caused by minimal exercise and a poor diet, both of which had resulted in irregular sleep and low energy levels during the day. In terms of the drain on mental energy they experienced a lot of agitation primarily caused by distracted listening which impacted greatly on their communication. They also suffered considerably from procrastination and poor prioritising which resulted in a great deal of time wasting leaving them busy doing the wrong things.

Breaking Habits

We addressed many of the manager’s bad habits which had been established over time and were a hindrance to change. These related to diet, sleep, physical exercise and other aspects all of which were impacting negatively on their performance. Issues we addressed included the following:

  • Developing self-awareness
  • Minimising negative self-talk
  • Stepping over fears daily
  • Overcoming procrastination
  • Eliminating time-wasting activities
  • Improving diet
  • Eliminating energy-wasting activities
  • Introducing measure and daily physical exercise

To assist the manager with breaking the habitual patterns and reactions that had become ingrained in their behaviour, we developed a simple monitoring system which allowed them to track their achievements and transgressions on a daily basis. As well as helping to overcome habits, the whole process fostered the manager’s capacity for self-examination, self awareness and reflection. In addition, the manager’s assessment documents were used as a continuous reference point for discussion during the coaching sessions. The whole process proved to be a most effective way of keeping the motivation alive and ensuring follow-through on implementation.

Education & Inspiration

We introduced a schedule of reading material which was pertinent to the manager’s particular development issues.

Building Capacity & Skill

The purpose of building confidence and raising energy levels was to equip the manager with the necessary inner strength and discipline needed in order to address the various behavioural issues and develop greater management capacity. Areas the programme addressed over the year included:

  • Addressing issues of performance with staff
  • Improving listening and engaging skills
  • Building stronger relationships
  • Breaking habitual ways of working
  • Improving attention and concentration


First and foremost, it is worth noting that this individual was particularly willing to work on themselves and was diligent with regard to implementing the various directions and practices that were introduced during the programme. The manager’s attitude together with the support, tools and direction that we provided was a powerful combination and upon conclusion of the twelve-month programme, they had achieved what they had set out to accomplish.

The positive changes were evident and were reinforced by encouraging feedback from both their line manager and their peers on the senior management team. They had greatly developed their efficiency and personal discipline at work. In relation to managing their team as well as interactions with colleagues, they experienced a more open and fearless approach and the sense of ‘disengagement’ (which was previously highlighted in 360 feedback) diminished considerably and to great effect. There was also a marked difference in their capacity and skill when conducting both team and individual meetings. As a result of the improved efficiency and effectiveness in the office, their work-life balance stabilised which allowed for more satisfying time with family. In relation to health, exercise and wellbeing the results were clearly there for all to see: the manager was a happier, fitter, slimmer and healthier individual.


Improving Team Performance