Coaching: my story

On my posting to my first HR Business Partner role I identified coaching as the appropriate development activity to enhance my effectiveness. My manager agreed, and I approached a number of providers. I selected IES as one of the providers as my Department was a member and I’d previously attended several of their Network Learning events, which were very useful.

Paul promptly responded to my enquiry and we arranged a conversation about my requirements. We discussed the concept of coaching in terms of a senior HR role and my strategic impact on my business areas. During this conversation Paul helped me clarify the initial areas I wanted to address during the coaching, and showed a keen awareness of current HR issues in government. As an NLP Practitioner I was also interested in working with Paul as he is both an NLP Coach and Master Practitioner.

Throughout our coaching session Paul was flexible yet challenging. After the first session I was clear on my key areas, which were prioritisation and relationship management, and development within a strategic environment. Through Paul’s coaching I also identified issues around an ongoing internal dialogue, and the next steps from the HR Business Partner role, as areas I wanted to cover.

Strengthscope was the primary analytical tool Paul used during the coaching relationship, which proved to be an absolute eye-opener for me. It provided a different focus from other tools (with an additional 360 degree element) and the descriptions of strengths in overdrive were particularly useful in my reflections on my performance.

In between our sessions Paul forwarded me material relating to the points we had discussed which proved to be useful in maintaining my momentum. As the sessions progressed I began to identify changes in my behaviour and approach to my role, which provided me with a great deal of satisfaction. I also found myself retaining examples of experiences to discuss my approach with Paul which helped me focus on the key areas of my performance.

During the final two sessions we discussed issues surrounding my identity in the HR Business Partner role. This provided me with a breakthrough in terms of a startlingly clear recognition of my identity, which I proceeded to recognise, consciously adopt and share with my key business contacts.

I achieved more than I envisaged through Paul’s coaching. His approach is calm, relaxed, yet challenging. Whilst I thoroughly looked forward to each session I was also comfortable with saying goodbye as all the issues we had identified had been thoroughly explored and addressed.

I have already recommended Paul as a coach to several colleagues and will continue to do so without hesitation or reservation.

Ross McIntosh
HR Business Partner
Enterprise & Business Group
Business Environment Unit
Ministerial and Parliamentary Support Team