was a balance of conceptually coming to understand the several essential principles of effective coaching taught during the workshop with opportunities to try their own hands at role playing the modeled process. They liked how practical it was and how much it focused on coaching skill development before the workshop was completed. We got their buy in! Later, many of them returned to attend the full two day workshop.
Dr. Myszkowski: When you had the approval and support of the top management team, how did you begin to roll out the training to this large population of executives, managers, and supervisors?
Beverly: Fresh from our success with the senior executive group, we used that momentum to ask our division heads to recommend some of their managers who were both likely 'early adopters' as well as opinion leaders. In the spring of 2005 we trained approximately 100 managers. Our early roll-out workshops were purposely composed mostly of managers from similar levels of the organization, assuming they would share similar supervisory problems, challenges, and concerns. People in the workshops quickly saw that there was a better way to manage. Many recognized that they were unintentionally not allowing their employees to be part of the solution by how they were supervising them. It was one of the strongest “ah ha's” early in the workshop that got everyone's attention.
Even the skills taught on the first of the two days in the workshop were so clear and useful that many managers went out and tried some of them the evening after the first day. They tried them with their employees, their spouses, their adolescent kids, and in one case, with her minister. Managers came back with success stories and testimonials the second day of how their first attempts at following this process and using these skills had gotten them better results. Over the next year, with the many workshops we delivered, this became a common occurrence. Word spread quickly that this was a great program and you would learn a lot of valuable skills.
Given all the previous foundation work we had done and the other spokes of the wheel that were in place, the timing was perfect. We were very excited about the reception the workshop was getting from the participants and the results we were beginning to see.
We looked at the workshop evaluations completed at the end of each day of the workshop and we also individually followed up with participants and their
bosses back on the job. The results were so positive that we decided to continue with the roll-out. With Phase III breathing down our necks, we had about another 200 supervisors, managers, and executives who would need to be trained if we were to begin to make this part of our culture before a massive influx of new employees would drive our attention back to basic orientation and skill training.
So, starting with the pilot workshop in December 2004, we trained approximately 300 executives, managers, and supervisors in the Effective Coaching process and skills over the next eleven months. There were about twenty two-day workshop sessions delivered over that time period.
Dr. Myszkowski: When it became clear that Atlantis was committed to this major initiative, what else did you do to support the training and institutionalize coaching as part of how Atlantis did business?
Beverly: We realized pretty quickly that we needed an internal infrastructure or support system to help managers and supervisors as they tried to apply and master these new skills, especially with some of the more difficult employees or employee situations.