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Case Study: Exploring Coaching Options

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With this plan of action agreed to, Manoel was informed. He was pleased and relieved that he had the opportunity to learn a new system and tools. With his ability to zoom to 30,000 feet, he also appreciated the explicit support from the company for advancing his career. He asked to have not only the formal technical training, but also to have a project member who is an advanced expert in Trello and Basecamp project management tools to tutor him. In exchange, Manoel and the project sponsor agreed to have the project member lead one of the project’s workstreams, as she wanted to gain hands-on project leadership experience.

Six months later, the project is on track. Project members verified that Manoel’s determination and ability to learn the software helped with his confidence and competence to guide the team.

This case study shows that it is imperative to define the root cause of the presented problem. There was also a delicate opportunity to forge a business relationship after being awarded the mandate and before jump-starting the activities. To delve too piercingly at the initiation of the project could have caused it to flounder and even terminate. It took educated skill to renegotiate the rationale and direction of the mandate. Nonetheless, by collecting fact-based evidence, the Head of Business Development and Talent Director were convinced that rerouting the focus and plan of action could provide ROI to the firm. If the original direction of coaching had been followed, Manoel could still be struggling, project members further frustrated and a project headed in a downward spiral.

By assessing and identifying the business and individual needs and creating an appropriate plan of action, a potentially wayward mandate was redirected and produced a ROI for the company, Manoel, the project and team members. Manoel can now utilize the new technical skills and further develop his leadership competence to maximize his potential. Coaching is now in order.


 Andersen, E., 6 Ways An Executive Coach Can Make You More Successful, Forbes, November 20, 2017.

Coutu, D. and Kaufman, C., What Can Coaches Do for You?, Harvard Business Review, January 2009.

Glover, L., Know the Difference Between ‘Training’ and ‘Coaching’ Employees, The Business Journals, April 24, 2014.

El Shennawy, F., Coaching vs. Mentoring, Training, Therapy, Consulting, Intellect, January 8, 2018.


Lucy S. Dubin, Ph.D. Lucy’s deep interest in people and business has been her focus for thinking strategically about complex people issues and developing innovative yet roll-up your sleeves solutions for two decades. As a non-traditional HR professional, Lucy continuously develops creative and actionable insights by applying advanced education in organizational psychology.

She combines practical experience in Europe and North America through positions in Fortune 50, SME and start-up companies. Lucy holds degrees from several universities including the University of California, Irvine (UCI) and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and Society for Human Resources Management Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP).

Lucy has written about digital recruiting, diversity, inclusion and belonging, employer of choice, work / life balance and gender differences in the workplace. She is an active volunteer and supporter of organizations involved in cancer research.


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