Søren Brogaard Jensen first encountered the Center for Creative Leadership’s (CCL) approach to coaching while attending the Leadership Development Program (LDP)® in Brussels. “It inspired me,” said Jensen, director of engineering and software product management for American Power Conversion Corp. (APC) in Denmark. Setting a goal of becoming a “worldclass coach” for people in his organization, one of the next steps he took was returning to Brussels for the Coaching for Greater Effectiveness program.
“Coaching is fundamental for a company to succeed,” said Jensen, whose own company is the world market leader in providing protection against some of the leading causes of downtime, data loss and hardware damage. “We need to be able to sustain people who are creative and who are motivated, and continue to bring them up through the system to take on more responsibilities. At CCL® I learned the right way to get the most out of good people, to energize them.”
While LDP provided Jensen his introduction to professional coaching, Coaching for Greater Effectiveness delivered a deep and highly individualized immersion into coaching for sustainable results using CCL’s unique methodologies, tools and techniques.
A major emphasis is put on establishing the coaching relationship and understanding how personalities and learning styles influence the experience. Jensen said he came away much more mindful of people’s differences. “I saw that it’s fairly easy to coach people like yourself, but not so easy to motivate people who don’t have the same personality type as you,” he said. “You have to understand what dynamic will have impact on them.”
The three-day curriculum combines multiple videotaped practice sessions, facilitated peer coaching, and smallgroup sessions with a CCL feedback coach. “Our small-group coach was extremely effective in striking the right balance between making us comfortable using new tools while pushing us to go outside our comfort zone,” said Jensen.
On the final day of the program, each participant sits down with a CCL coach to build a detailed personal development plan. “She helped me see what tools I could apply at work and where I could be most effective,” said Jensen. “Most people in my group had never received a ‘real’ coaching session before. You could see the impact almost immediately.”
Back at work, the Danish manager has initiated a coaching process for up-and-coming employees, scheduling sessions every three to four months. Over time, he hopes to see the creation of a coaching culture across the entire company as more people become trained as coaches.
As a footnote to his CCL experience, Jensen said he was surprised to see the good effects expanding beyond his work life to include his relationship with family and friends. “It taught me to ask questions – and the power of asking the right question is 10 times the power of giving the answer. These are learnings you can apply wherever you go.”