Executive Coaching Case Study


Angela was a senior executive of a European multi-national company, sent to an Asian country to head the Executive Management Team.

Problem Statement:

When Angela came to Asia, she thought that her reputation of turning around ailing companies would be understood, and that all her new reports would be thrilled to work with her. She was wrong. Rather than seeing her as a corporate “savior” or being impressed by her former awards, she was considered a poor leader.

Her 360°survey indicated that she was seen as one of the poorest leaders in the company, not accustomed to handling conflicts, unable to develop trustful relationships, and was indecisive. To be a strong leader in her new company, she needed to improve in these categories.

The CEO of the company decided Angela needed support from a professional coach.

Cornelia’s Coaching Approach:

At their first session, Angela was feeling unhappy and demoralized. She admitted feeling in a desperate place. Cornelia gave her a chance to explain, express, and talk about the current situation. Angela could not understand why her success wasn’t being repeated now. She felt totally humbled and confused.

They began to create a template of her previous successes. What did she do in the past when she was super successful? How did she behave then? What were her beliefs? How did she speak and think and feel at her peak? We analyzed in detail the recipe of her prior success.

They then looked at the current limiting beliefs Angela had created in Asia, and how it reflected her behavior now. Cornelia gave her a lot of homework, including writing exercises, ways to think, and she reported her thoughts at her sessions.

Angela began to reclaim the values and behaviors that helped her to be a success, and tempered this with a new cultural understanding. After bringing her back to her previous, powerful state of mind, Cornelia asked Angela to partake in a workshop she created to improve her collaboration with her staff. At this workshop she openly and honestly expressed her appreciation of the staff and need for their support. The workshop was a big success and a turning point in her career. By acquiring more cross-cultural identity and sensitivity, she was able to communicate and deal with different situations with managers and staff from different cultural backgrounds successfully.