Executive Coaching, Leadership Coaching, Team Coaching, Karen Fugle, Coaching London, Executive Coaching London, Team Coaching London, Leadership Coaching London, LEGO Serious Play, LEGO Serious play London, Architect Coach, Coaching Architects, AEC Coach, Architecture coach, Business coach
"For an architect, getting these soft skills right brings lasting relationships, repeat business and a stronger reputation.'"
RIBA "Client and Architect" Publication
CASE STUDY 1: COACHING FOR BUSINESS GROWTH
An experienced, talented and self-employed Senior Architect found that his practice and enthusiasm had plateaued. He wanted a renewed focus on career goals and an opportunity for reflection on his attitudes and behaviours that might be limiting the business growth. The client wanted an honest and “constructively critical” coach and approached me for an initial consultation to sound out the process and how I might be able to help.
Through coaching my client embarked on a reflective journey that helped him reconnect with creative values and led him to re-engage with the architectural community as a mentor. Whilst acknowledging that self-promotion wasn’t a strength he came to understand how his meetings were leaving clients with the less-than-optimal opinion that he was a flexible-cost, part-service option.
Following 6x90min online coaching sessions over a period of six months, he had a greater appreciation of the architect-client relationship and the importance of building trust. He was more aware of the impression that he wanted to make and introduced more creativity in communicating his skills and services. His increased confidence in selling the full package of services meant that he achieved an increase in business revenues, within the six month coaching duration.
CASE STUDY 2: COACH AS A SOUNDING BOARD
A successful and talented Interior Designer with a full workload and growing business found that her nose was so ‘close to the grindstone” that she often found herself in task overwhelm and felt too “emotionally invested” to make clear business decisions. This Interior Designer is passionate about her business and her clients and therefore has always been very busy from the start. However, due to lack of time, she was aware that she really struggled to see the bigger picture and create a clear vision for the future of her design business. Consequently she found it difficult to plan ahead. After an initial brief conversation with me, this designer felt that she would benefit from a dedicated monthly session that would provide her with an external objective perspective.
Coaching has allowed this Designer to pull back from the detail and gain a new perspective on the way that she worked. The realisation that she undervalued her services was an eye-opener for her. Establishing a clear future vision and breaking that down into smaller manageable chunks gave her the momentum to make gains on larger goals without the unnecessary overwhelm. She found that working with me as her coach, acting as her sounding board, allowed her to explore options more thoroughly and reach decisions confidently and quickly.
This designer now feels more confident and decisive and has found a renewed energy and focus in regards to her business goals.
CASE STUDY 3: COACHING FOR CONFIDENCE
Upon returning to the office after maternity leave, a mid-level Architect and new Mum found herself not selected for promotion, leaving her feeling low in confidence. She is an outwardly confident and talented designer, but one who naturally shies away from conflict. Afraid that her ideas might be viewed as controversial she does not contribute in meetings as fully as she would like to. Her goals are to increase confidence and positivity, increase communication with leaders (be "seen" in the office) and be more able to freely speak ideas and opinions.
Coaching enabled this architect to reflect how she was (or perhaps wasn’t) communicating her numerous strengths to her team and to the senior management. We co-created a strategy to increase her positivity and confidence based on utilising and strengthening her existing talents. By engaging with key people in the office she was able to exchange and build on her ideas and also gain a bigger overview in the company activities.
During the 6 x 90min face-to-face coaching sessions, her positivity levels and confidence levels increased dramatically; colleagues were delighted at the change. She sought to lead new initiatives in the office and, wonderfully, she has since been promoted.
“To think that 6 months after we concluded our sessions that I would be presenting to board members as part of a bidding process it’s a great testament to what we achieved.”
CASE STUDY 4: COACHING FOR STRESS
A friendly, extrovert designer in a large architectural firm felt that he was not in the right role and wanted coaching help to discover the “next step” in his career path. During this coaching process he found himself placed under a formal grievance procedure. This, understandably, came as a shock. His immediate goal was to regain emotional control and increase resilience with my support as his coach.
Together we embarked on a resilience enhancing approach to get emotions under control and set about managing the situation with realistic positivity. In bi-monthly 1:1 coaching sessions we quickly re-established his identity and strengths as an industry respected architect. We role-played meeting scenarios that primed him with appropriate responses and questions to ask. He enlisted support from a trusted friend and asked them to attend critical meetings with him, which helped him keep emotions under control and the dialog flowing.
This multi-level approach - identity, purpose, emotional intelligence, connections - boosted his resiliency levels and turned the meetings from a ‘defence and justification’ style to meetings of curiosity and compromise. His ability to manage the discussions was acknowledged and praised. Together we continued the coaching journey with the goal of finding a new company - one that more closely aligned with his values and career aspiration. Taking the next step in his career, he soon joined a fantastic company in a well-suited role.
CASE STUDY 5: COACHING FOR LEADERSHIP
A new partner in a mid-size architectural firm approached me about coaching for leadership development with two specific areas to focus on. Firstly, it was with frustration that he acknowledged that he wasn't delegating work downwards effectively. He wished to be more honest and direct in expectations of delivery within a time frame and not end up doing the work himself. He also wanted to work more on appreciating people – across partner level and down through his team. He wanted to be “a good leader”.
Coaching involved me challenging this client’s thinking and raising his self-awareness. He quickly realised that the combination of passion for the design work and not trusting people to get the work done, meant that he did the work himself. Further reflection revealed that he freely criticised in team meetings but only showed appreciation privately. My approach to coaching visually enabled him to see problems, not only from his perspective but from that of the team. We delved deeper into delegation, improving on active-listening skills and good questioning techniques. These skills helped him to encourage the team to think for themselves and fostered more realistic expectations of his time and availability. Our discussions challenged the masculinity of meetings and how this could limit “softer issues” like appreciative commenting. With me, acting as an accountability partner, he became more mindful of introducing appreciation into a more public realm.
The decision to be transparent to his team about his leadership development journey gave this client access to pertinent feedback from the team. With greater insight into his leadership capabilities, this client developed a greater awareness of how he acts in a managerial capacity and was better equipped to switch role from ‘designer’ to ‘manager’.
Contact Karen Fugle today to learn how SleepingGiant can help you.
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