A few weeks ago, I had quite a “Eureka” experience during a one-on-one exclusive coaching session. Even at higher levels in this client organisation, the Development Center outcome is an important input in one’s career progression. Understandably, my coachee was nervous about the forthcoming Development Centre.
My focus during coaching has been trying to help the coachee build an ‘Authentic Leadership’ style. Belbin has been an effective tool here, especially for ‘Conflict Resolution’ at personal, within team and intergroup levels.
What excited me was the use of Belbin to help approach the Development Centre with confidence. Case Studies was what my coachee pointed out as being a part of the DC that he wasn’t excited about. In the past, ‘case studies’ was always something he believed he didn’t do very well at. We took an HBR case, this particular one called for competencies in Data Analysis, Decision Making and Achievement Orientation. I advised the coachee to visit his Belbin Workstyle report and internalize his four workstyles.
His top four work styles were :
We then spent time reflecting on his Belbin Work Style associated Mantras. Eg: “I like the challenge of digging for answers”. He began to see the case study in this light and realised he naturally had the ability to possibly do well and even enjoy a case study!.
Having had a dialogue which led to a reality check of the four workstyles described above, the coachee embarked on the exercise of doing the case analysis with the conscious playing to his strengths. Eg: “I’m ready to take hard decisions and Lead from the front”
Therefore what are some of the hard decisions the protagonist in this case study would need to take to lead from the front’
Believe me, the results were magical. Once he tapped into his self-belief and drew from his strengths his approach to the case study was novel, unique and most of all authentic!
We also tried the approach in the ‘Role play’ exercise and the measure of confidence was as high and insightful.
Subsequently, I tried the experiment on another coachee where his top four team roles were ME/PL/CO/RI. The results were again exciting. The second coachee used the workstyle report to prepare for his client project review presentation. He phoned me up a few days ago to share his excitement about the open appreciation he received from the client reviewing head.
The Belbin Work Styles report does have great value and lends itself to creative leadership applications.
– Leslie D’Souza