Rafal Milek-Horodyski's picture Submitted by Rafal Milek-Hor... May 15, 2020 - 8:48am

On February 28th I was honoured to share my Executive Coaching case at the first meeting of the IOC’s Tricky Coaching Case Forum, facilitated by Jeff Hull and Jan Rybeck. All the participating coaches came together to create a memorable and valuable experience.

We are all experiencing a rapid, and sometimes, abrupt transition to online forms of communication. The TCCF was planned much earlier than the pandemic calamity, but the timing happened to be just right. We (the participants) hit on two topics: how to stretch our coaching skills to meet new demands and how to grow into these new online tools.

It was a maiden voyage for all of us — a prototype and a benchmark setting exercise. Jeff Hull’s framing was clear and crisp, setting the cooperation standard for everyone participating to the highest level.

I delivered a case, from my own practice, during the forum and the simple act of presentation helped me develop my understanding of it. Interacting with experienced, knowledgeable coaches allowed me to gain a new perspective in my case that I would never have been able to reach in a vacuum. My fellow coaches were able to point out missed opportunities and potential blind spots I had missed when reflecting on the case. It was a truly remarkable and invaluable experience.

In today’s world it is sometimes difficult to find the space and opportunity for true deep reflection. This Tricky Case Forum allowed me and my fellow coaches to dive into cases in a way that can truly transform our practice. The sum of the parts is greater than the whole. This has never been more true before — the group-intelligence in this session was remarkable.

Although a coach takes a client on their own personal journey, the journey of the coach is equally important. In submitting my own case to a council of peer coaches, I was the protagonist in my own coach’s journey. As with many journeys, it required a level of vulnerability that is sometimes difficult, but I was rewarded with an insight that was worth every minute of discomfort.

As I look forward to the next Tricky Case Coaching Case Forum I consider the following questions:

Questions for me:

  1. How to effectively gauge, then improve a senior leader's performance, especially when they may be sensitive to feedback?
  2. How to focus client attention on enabling behaviors when self-confidence is eroding?

Questions for the Client:

  1. Turning polarities into a unity - “How to connect underperformance management with empathy?”
  2. How to balance empathy of others and of oneself?
  3. What does leadership mean for the client in the context of overprotective behaviors?
  4. How does gender impact performance management ?
  5. How similar is the client behavior towards me (Coach) vs their peers?