A group of senior council managers and some of their less highly-ranked colleagues were caught up in a major reorganisation and downsizing. This meant they had to apply for their own jobs, in competition with people from outside the organisation. As part of the process, they were required to make presentations and attend job interviews.
Clearly, the stakes were high – much higher than for job applicants who are just looking to move from one job to another. These people were well used to handling tough situations in their day-to-day work, but this was different: the context, the process and at least one of the potential outcomes were deeply troubling. In view of this, and with so much to lose, how could they gear up for the challenge, perform to the best of their ability and win through?
VOX was asked to design and deliver four days of group and individual training that would enable each applicant to do themselves justice. The sessions focused on developing the participants’ confidence, helping them to recognise that the selectors’ perceptions of them would be governed by how they spoke as well as what they said, and equipping them with practical techniques for making a positive impact.
As well as exploring a range of specific topics – managing nerves, speaking with energy and passion, handling interview questions and so forth – the coaching was intended to:
- Provide the participants with skills that would also be useful in other contexts
- Help them recognise that they were still valued as professionals
- Help them stay motivated in spite of the circumstances
- Provide a ‘safe’ environment for open communication
These were talented and committed people; VOX’s job was to enhance their ability to demonstrate this through the way they communicated.
Virtually all of them succeeded in retaining their jobs. They went into the presentations and interviews with their heads held high, engaged the audience and earned respect and trust. They demonstrated that they still had passion for the work and were prepared to embrace change.
As in so many cases, VOX has been invited back to deliver a different kind of coaching now that the organisation has undergone further reorganisation and is keen to regroup and look to the future. VOX looks forward to running both team days and one-to-one coaching sessions for such outstanding members of staff.