Rather than tell you all of the wonderful ways in which we can work together, let me tell some stories. I believe that stories connect and convey meaning better than mere describing. If any of these stories connect with you, let me know - I'd love to work with you. These are the stories of some of the organizations and teams I have partnered with:
A certain hospice was experiencing considerable burnout and turnover among their staff. Nursing directors were overworked, nurses were burning out, and others in the field were quitting en mass. In any given month, they could have placement openings for half of their nurses as well as the director. The hospice director took the approach of "rallying the troops" and telling them to press on, but by his own admittance, it wasn't working. Leadership was not aware of the high cost of vacancy and the image that was being created in the communities they served. After coaching the hospice director individually on leadership, I worked with the entire team through an appreciative approach to identify ways in which they could better practice self care and collaborate with leadership to create an environment that was conducive to workplace satisfaction and longevity.
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A hospital whom we're all familiar with was struggling with nursing turnover. They were spending large amounts of money to hire and train nurses and they would end up quitting after 6-12 months. In essence, the nurses were burning out quickly and did not feel that the hospital was providing an understanding and supportive environment. We engaged in team coaching and explored what systems could be put in place to create the environment that the nurses needed while saving the company all the money they were spending on training, cost of hiring, and cost of vacancy. The end result was a team of nurses who went from disliking their employer to feeling like they were cared for and being excited to work for them.
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The nursing staff in a skilled nursing facility was experiencing significantly reduced morale due to a spike in patient deaths and a reduction in force. Where turnover was already above the industry average, more nurses were close to quitting. We developed a plan together around their primary concerns and reframed the topics around their strengths. We then utilized Zoom to set up weekly coaching sessions around those topics to create new mindsets and reinvigorate the team. Using mindfulness techniques and appreciative coaching, we were able to boost morale and retain staff.
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A Tier 1 automotive part manufacturer was struggling with meeting production deadlines. Upon asking the operations manager what he wanted to focus on, he said that he wanted to stop missing deadlines. This was a fair answer, but I challenged him to make the focus positive instead of negative. I explained that we only exacerbate the negative when it is the focus. We eventually agreed on a topic of empowering line workers to achieve their potential. We used Appreciative Inquiry in a one week process culminated by a one-day summit. The result was expanded thinking on how each worker could contribute with passion which led to deadlines being met with extra capacity 99% of the time.
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A large bank headquartered in Chicago had a team in place to roll out a new software system. The project was then discontinued due to budget cuts. I worked with the bank to wind down the team in a healthy way and provide "hospice" for that team as the members transitioned to new teams and projects. This led to more generativity and addressed the grief that is carried over when not dealt with appropriately.
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A non-profit that had existed for over 30 years was stuck. The board could not generate ideas on how to increase their funding while hiring the staff they needed and being relevant in their context. Some started to talk about reducing staff or even closing down. Board members were quitting because they didn't feel like anything was changing. This is when they hired me to come in and lead a training on appreciative and powerful questioning. The board (and staff) were not coming up with the right ideas because they weren't asking the right questions. After showing them how questions could create a shift in thinking, leading to new and better ideas, the board was able to draw on the answers they already had, but weren't aware of. They are thriving today and making great strides where they are meant to be.
These are a small sampling of the stories that I have had the pleasure of playing a role in. I have been honored to be a part of bringing awareness to many different situations for many kinds of organizations because coaching works. I did not work magic. I did not give answers. I merely used a tried and true process to create a shift that led to new and more powerful outcomes.