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Case Study: Fashionable Advice

The Client
A UK subsidiary of a European fashion retailer who needed to improved the interactions between one of its regional Area Managers and the shop managers reporting to him.

The Challenge
The Country Manager had concerns that the way the Area Manager was managing his shop managers could be seen as somewhat aggressive and meant that things were not as productive as they could have been. He did not want to lose the Area Manager as his other management skills and knowledge of the sector were very good, but the interpersonal relationship issue could have caused issues for future progress. Some 1:1 coaching on communication skills/ management style was proposed. The Area Manager reluctantly agreed to the coaching, but was highly sceptical of the need for such an intervention.

The Solution
Helen Astill of Cherington HR was asked to provide the 1:1 coaching. She had worked with the company before having previously been asked to assist by their solicitors to help deal with a previous grievance and to cover a short period during the appointment of a new HR Manager, so she was familiar with the organisation and its culture and values. She agreed a schedule of six coaching sessions with the area manager over the following 6-8 months and they explored the use of different management styles; delegation skills; and the development of communication and interpersonal skills.

The Results
At the end of the programme of coaching, the Area Manager was very receptive to the idea of the coaching and the Country Manager was pleased with the changes in management style of the Area Manager and resulting improvements. The Area Manager had adopted a much more positive approach to his interaction with others and subsequently Helen was asked to provide some more 1:1 interpersonal skills coaching for another member of staff to improve her personal impact with senior members of staff.

Key words: Coaching; Management Skills; Communication and Interpersonal Skills; Bullying; Solicitor

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