Even though we had built two high-performing communications teams at both American Water (NYSE: AWK) and Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), driving major change brings unique challenges in navigating and gaining buy in from leadership and peers. After a number of what we considered to be normal bumps in the road, we learned about emotional intelligence and how changing the approach can change the outcome. As we dove in deeper, we found out that our teams could be even more effective and successful if we helped them better understand themselves and others in a constructive and actionable manner.
Within the course of a year, we were introduced to the power of several measurable assessments through a combination of higher education, a talent development professional and an executive coach. As we watched our outcomes become further enhanced across the business, we realized there was great benefit to rolling out the assessments and coaching to our entire team. We became certified in a number of internationally recognized tools and became Professional Certified Coaches to help our teams and other leaders in the business enhance their EQ and more positively affect their outcomes.
We rolled out two behavioral models, an assessment identifying motivators, a personality tool, and one model that focuses on EQ, the emotional intelligence equivalent of IQ. We worked extensively with the team on understanding how they act, why they act that way and how they can adjust their behavior to enhance their outcomes. That led the team to understand themselves better and those with whom they work, even those they had just met. This was especially important in dealing with their new counterparts and culture that resulted from a soon to be completed merger. It made their meetings go more smoothly and results were accomplished more quickly.
As we broadened our coaching to the senior executive team, we worked with leadership to help them gauge the various facets of their teams, how they could round out those teams and how to adjust their own behavior to be even more successful. The rigorous training we underwent to become certified helps us guide excutive leaders effectively to develop their own development plans to achieve their best outcomes.
Extensive work with teams and leadership helped improve the dynamics of change and achieve the best outcomes for the business. Specifically, this multi-year process included:
- Executive coaching
Coaching members of the senior executive leadership team through the use of behavioral and motivator tools; coaching other leaders for the executive track
- Coaching for team success
Leveraging over 2,000 hours of coaching and the assessments for which we are now certified, we have been able to drive both individual and team success, leading to even greater productivity and positive outcomes
- Coaching for transition
Team members and senior leaders sought out our expertise to effectively transition to a new culture and company; they have confidently transitioned and credit their understanding of themselves and others as a major contributor