Coaching provides an opportunity for high-achieving individuals to accelerate their growth, learning and effectiveness. Coaching works particularly well in situations where someone has identified a specific need, such as getting to grips with a role transition, tackling individual or team performance or building specific skills such as leadership.
At Sherwood, we start from the assumption that the person being coached has all the knowledge, experience and resources required to address the challenges they are facing. The coach’s role is to facilitate the move from analysis of the challenge, through identification of options, to a commitment to and enthusiasm for action.
How we work
We don’t aim to be subject matter experts with answers to all the individual’s problems. In fact, the key to the individual’s growth and development is that they work through and find their own answers. Their greater effectiveness depends on them finding answers that work for them, at that particular moment, in their particular organisation. And they are best placed to judge what those answers might be. What we can provide is a rigorous process to help them get there more quickly.
Of course, there may be times when it is appropriate for the coach to share their own ideas – approaches, theory, models, different ways of working – to widen the individual’s repertoire of resources. However, this is always done within the context of the individual defining their own way forward.
What does Sherwood bring to the process?
All Sherwood coaches are professionally trained business coaches, who work with individuals and teams.
- Confidentiality: a safe place to rehearse ideas, test alternatives, talk through concerns and experiment with new approaches
- Support: an absolutely commitment to the individual’s well-being, progress and success
- Challenge: asking questions and challenging assumptions in a way that others within the organisation may not feel able to do
- Feedback: honest and direct feedback about how the individual comes across and might come across to colleagues
Coaching case study
Moving into a new senior leadership role
A high-performing partner was asked to take on the leadership role of an important practice area in her firm following a spate of partner exits. She had no previous experience of such formal leadership roles and was concerned about the amount of time and energy likely to be required to get the department stable and growing again – and the possible impact on her own practice. She also acknowledged that she had never really had much time for "management and admin" before and she wasn’t sure how to get the remaining partners to do as she asked. She also told the coach at the exploratory meeting that she had also been asked by the Board to produce a new direction and strategy for the group but that she had no real clue how to go about that either!
During the ensuing nine months, in which the partner had monthly coaching sessions and some interim telephone contact, she worked with her partners to create a new sense of purpose and direction for the group. She also handed over some of her client relationships to younger partners so as to free up time both for her leadership role and also created two new high value client relationships that she led for the firm. When asked how she had managed to achieve all this she said that the irony was that although she had twice as much to do – in combining the Head of Group role with her client work, she now felt she had much more time to do it all in as a result of being more focused and in control – thanks to the coaching!
Other recent coaching assignments
- Partner promotion candidates and high potential senior associates, including specific programmes for high potential women
- New partners, providing 1:1 support alongside facilitated group modules co-delivered with internal experts
- C-suite executives in the finance and technology sectors
- Newly appointed directors in a professional services firm
- NHS leaders as part of a Meyler Campbell pro bono initiative during the Covid-19 pandemic
- A PSF management committee member preparing for promotion to board level
- A head of department planning ahead for their own succession and preparing for retirement
- A group of partners seeking to address the barriers to implementation of their agreed strategy
- A managing partner exploring employee engagement challenges within their firm
- A group of partners and counsel at a Magic Circle law firm on working collaboratively to increase their market share in a new practice area