Client Stories

How 8 + 4 added up to a new workplace dynamic

This programme involved coaching for members of a divisional Board of a global engineering firm, where four of us worked with eight individual clients.

The Board members had already participated in a strengths-based leadership programme led by Dr Alex Linley of CAPP, using insights from positive psychology, and the coaching was designed to complement and build on this. One of our Alliance Partners was an Associate of CAPP and Director of their charity The Strengths Project.

At regular points during the assignment, we were instrumental in feeding back general themes to the organisation. The Alliance were also part of a coaching cadre who collaborated with Alex Linley and the client organisation.

‘The value of coaching is that, unlike mentoring, many of the answers lie within yourself.’

What was the starting point?

The organisation had undergone a major restructuring and was keen to implement a new working culture. To this end the Board had commissioned some positive psychology strengths-based interventions along with coaching to support the change. Particular points included:


  • Tendency toward ‘silo’ thinking which needed to be overcome
  • Significant political and economic challenges
  • Developing new ways of working with partners/client organisations
  • A meetings culture

What were the coaching issues?

Individual coaching topics were many and varied, but included some of the following themes:


  • Unleashing the strengths of the clients and their teams to achieve greater results, impact and more positivity
  • Increasing profile and influence within the new management group
  • Progressing the integration agenda, with the right degree of pace, ownership and action
  • Understanding perceptions and increasing profile as a respected manager
  • Really understanding strengths and what energises the client with a view to bringing a greater sense of fulfilment to current role
  • Preparing for the next job challenge and raising credibility for new role
  • Embedding positive thoughts rather than focusing on the one ‘negative’ comment
  • Reflecting on what the client wants his ‘legacy’ to be when he moves on from the current role
  • Practical actions for managing extensive work commitments with reduced resources and in challenging time frames
  • Creating space for regular longer-term planning and reflection

How did it all turn out?

  • Uniformly positive reaction from individual clients
  • Constructive and productive relationship with CAPP and other coaches, thus maximising value to organisation
  • Alliance Partners retained for assignments within the Board
  • We have been sought out for both continued and new assignments subsequently

What did the client say?

‘The value of coaching is that, unlike mentoring, many of the answers lie within yourself. You just need someone to bring them out of you. My coach is a great sounding board, with wide experience, both professionally and socially. She helped me through many topics and elicited many solutions from me. Her similar interests to myself helped cement the relationship. I was very happy with the coaching, so much so that I would like to carry on.’