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Coaching examples

Example 1: Stressful interpersonal relationship

An executive sought coaching in order to manage a deteriorating relationship with a national manager.  The executive was excluded and was not given adequate information to work effectively.  Both the executive and the line manager were working to very tight deadlines and with competing demands from a range of stakeholders.


After two coaching meetings with Margie Darcy, the executive held a very successful meeting with the line manager.  The executive confidently and clearly articulated ongoing support for the manager.  The executive expressed the need for clear communication and inclusion in key meetings. 


Outcomes included:

  • the executive's anger and frustration were significantly reduced
  • a constructive working relationship was re-established
  • the executive gained skills and confidence in holding such conversations in the future, thereby preventing similar situations recurring in the future. 



Example 2: Leadership coaching across an organisation

Margie Darcy provided leadership coaching for 20 SES, EL1 and 2 in a federal government department from August 2008 to June 2011.  Coaching agreements were established on a case-by-case basis.  Some individuals contracted a series of 10 coaching one hour sessions, others negotiated coaching sessions as needed, ranging from 2 sessions to 15 sessions.  Margie adapted her coaching methodology to the unique needs of each client.  Some coachees benefited from a structured coaching framework. Other coachees made more rapid progress within a narrative coaching process.  Always coaching was solutions focused. Qualitative evaluation was conducted along the way in order to guide the approach taken and the outcomes focus.


Outcomes included:

  • increased confidence in delegating
  • improved communication
  • better team relationships
  • shared understanding of team priorities
  • increased resilience
  • improved skills in managing staff
  • a shift from pessimism to optimism about work.



Example 3: Performance coaching (individual)

A staff member had been underperforming for a number of years.  The staff member was no longer functioning at their level.  Margie Darcy was engaged to coach the staff member in order to preserve the staff member’s health and well-being, to provide the staff member with an independent vehicle for examining workplace responsibilities, career options and strategies for addressing performance feedback.


Margie met with the client for 12 sessions over a period of nine months.


Outcomes included:

  • the client made considered career and retirement decisions
  • engaged with their personal Performance Improvement Plan
  • successfully maintained attendance at work through to the conclusion of the process
  • issues of anxiety and depression were addressed openly and appropriately through referral
  • a report was developed in consultation with the coaching client.  This report was provided to the client organisation for consideration in making a decision about this staff member's case.



Example 4: Conflict coaching (individual and group)

An executive and staff member were locked in significant conflict.  Their conflict impacted on their ability to achieve work outcomes and affected the health of both individuals. Productivity in the team was achieved at significant personal cost to the main protagonists and to those working most closely with them.


Margie Darcy held separate meetings with the next up line manager and subsequently with the two people in conflict.  Margie used coaching methodology and an appreciative enquiry approach to gain commitment to explore the issues underlying the conflict and in eliciting commitment to resolution. Margie then mediated a coaching conversation during which both parties were able to express their views in a supportive environment.  The outcomes achieved included significant reduction in anxiety and tension and the re-establishment of satisfactory communication.  The manager reported learning a significant amount about the importance of listening, understanding different worldviews and strategies for managing emotions.



Example 5:"Stress inoculation" (group coaching)

An organisation sought ways to build the resilience and skills of staff members to manage the high levels of emotions that were anticipated during the community meetings about a draft report.


Margie Darcy was engaged to conduct a three-hour group coaching session for two groups of personnel.  The aim of the group coaching was to build participant capacity

  • to deliver sensitive information confidently
  • respond sensitively and clearly to stakeholders
  • to manage their emotions.


In a small group of 5-6 people, participants were coached to identify their unique stress triggers and to develop and rehearse successful coping strategies.  The power of the group was that people collaboratively formulated new, appropriate responses and behaviours.  As a result, participants were more confident, less anxious and better prepared for the meetings.  Furthermore, participants replicated these coaching conversations, thereby preparing their own teams.


Example 6: Working with intellectually disabled staff members

In order to model diversity practice within the organisation, a federal government department recruited four intellectually disabled trainees.  Each trainee had two supervisors.  Margie Darcy was sub contracted to provide individual and group coaching for the eight supervisors. 


The project was conducted from November 2010 to February 2011. Margie Darcy conducted eight initial, individual coaching sessions (45 minutes) for each supervisor and a one-hour coaching session for each pair of supervisors.  Margie followed up with three group coaching session (one hour per month) comprising all 8 supervisors. The coaching was provided in a manner consistent with the ICF philosophy of coaching and Code of Ethics. 


Outcomes included

  • improved supervisor understanding of the nature of intellectual disability
  • increased supervisor capacity to engage and motivate staff
  • increased collaboration and mutual support amongst the supervisor group. 
  • reduced conflict in management styles in supervisor pairs
  • improved trainee performance
  • greater engagement of other team members in trainee development.



Example 7: Newly appointed SES Officer

Margie provided leadership coaching over a two year period for a person newly appointed to the Senior Executive Service.  The client was well regarded, highly capable and a high achiever. The employing agency was very keen to foster this person’s talent.


Margie partnered with a coachee during a particularly difficult time in the coachee’s personal and professional life.  After 12 months in the position, the coachee suffered two family losses  On returning to work following extended leave, the coachee negotiated to work part-time.  The coachee was put into a new role with a new manager.  The relationship between the coachee and new manager was highly stressful.  As a result of Margie's coaching, the coachee established an effective, if not close, working relationship with her new manager.  She learnt skills in resilience to cope with both her personal tragedies and a complex working relationship.