Case Study – Leadership Skills Development

UK Business School

Duration of Working relationship: 2021 – ongoing

The stated aims of the leadership development programme were:

  • Understand the long-term vision of the School and be able to identify and articulate key strategic priorities in alignment with this.
  • Appreciate the mechanisms of financial planning and how this is managed within the school as well as in relation to the wider University.
  • Successfully navigate the transition from the ‘dressing room’ into a hybrid leadership role.
  • Understand, and be able to anticipate, future HE sector drivers and challenges.
  • Create a coaching culture within your team, coaching and mentoring your peers, confidently providing feedback and having effective and courageous conversations.
  • Successfully lead and appropriately distribute leadership to others during change.
  • Take ownership for, and manage the wellbeing of, yourself and others.

Working closely with their line manager, action plans will be prepared at the end of the leadership development programme to ensure transfer of learning back to the workplace. The action plans will ensure that participants capabilities and motivation for leadership, which we hope will be enhanced during the programme, are complemented by opportunities to enact leadership.

Areas of C4C Involvement:

In order to achieve an accredited certificate at the end of the course participants must complete the following:

Induction day – To bring together the participants of the 2021/22 Programme to build a cohort that works together and supports each other throughout the leadership development programme.

  • Building on the introduction to the programme the previous evening.
  • An opportunity for the cohort to get know each other better.
  • Creation of a network and safe community to work together and share during the programme.
  • Opportunity to start working together and think about development.
  • Next steps for the programme in terms of coaching and skills audit.

An experiential day, delivering aims through team building activities and reflection of self, linking the day to the Business School mantra; the three modules of the Programme; and the key competencies and descriptors that have been developed for the programme

“I liked the easy going feel of it and the way it brought us together as a group quite quickly. It was a great introduction to the programme.”

Skills Audit

We created an audit of essential skills and their key components. The purpose of this document is to raise self-awareness about where participants should focus their skills leadership development.

We believe that each person needs to build their overall competence across a range of skills. For this programme, we selected a number of key competencies that will support participants as they progress in their career. The Competency Framework has been developed using leadership competencies from across Higher Education and Business.

Participants were asked to take some time to think about their level of skill and complete the audit.

Super Strengths

By completing the exercises, participants discovered their Super Strengths. Results from these exercises were taken to coaching sessions to support leadership development plans. We created a 4 stage ‘Super Strengths’ review document, taken from ‘The Squiggly Career’ by Helen Tupper & Sarah Ellis.

The document contained an exercise for each step for participants to complete. By completing the exercises, they discovered their Super Strengths. We recommended participants are in an environment that enables them to dedicate time to themself when completing them. The results from the exercises were taken to coaching sessions to support development plans.

Building your Coaching Skills – EMCC Accredited

By the end of the coaching skills training participants will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of a range of ideas, tools and frameworks relevant to coaching and mentoring conversations.
  2. Critically consider some of the key ethical and practical issues in coaching and mentoring conversations (e.g., confidentiality, managing boundaries).
  3. Develop key coaching skills, such as listening, questioning, and playing back.
  4. Understand how the relationship between coach or mentor and staff/clients evolves over time.
  5. Set appropriate ground rules and boundaries to support relationships.
  6. Explore your approach to coaching or mentoring conversations which take into account the context within which you operate and the needs of those you work with.
  7. Work more effectively with others.

In order to achieve an accredited certificate at the end of the course participants must complete the following

Coaching Skill Foundation Course – Courses will be held on site

Three 4-hour modules (containing; check-in, theory, practice and check-out). Workshop outlines:

  • The coaching conversation; Set up/contracting, purpose and outcome, Introduction EMCC code of Ethics, Silent coaching, Questioning, listening & GROW – practice work
  • Use of MBTI self-assessment tool to raise awareness on personality preferences and how this can enhance and support conversations. Difficult conversations and how coaching can support them, Introducing Tools – TA (Transactional Analysis) – practice work.

Final session to review coaching development, experience and open discussion with trio practice and assessment

Participants to work with 2 practice clients between modules

Keep a learning log to record experiences.

  • Utilise information in the modules.
  • Experience from practice and day to day conversations.
  • From reflection in CORE Leaders coaching sessions.

A coaching session between each workshop for each participant, with an Executive coach

C4C will provide Coaching Portfolio to collect information from each module, reading lists, reflections and actions

“Learning the coaching skills in practice and also being coached by them and colleagues. Sharing vulnerabilities help building team spirit and trust among the participants.

Executive Coaching

To support individuals in all aspects of the Programme. It is a key part of the accreditation of the Building your Coaching Skills Course; and an opportunity for participants to discuss goals and development in an individual safe space with time to reflect, review and refocus on professional and personal development.

  1. Each person will have five, one-hour virtual sessions spread across the duration of the course
  2. The coaching panel is external and supplied by Coaching4Careers Ltd
  3. Each person will receive an email of introduction to their Executive/Leadership Coach with their Bio following the Induction Day (Monday 8 Nov) from Linda Butler, Director & Co-founder, C4C Ltd
  4. The coaching space is confidential
  5. Coachee and coach will plan dates and times to suit both parties however the first one should be taken before the end of December 2021
  6. The opportunity to discuss your goals and development, alongside any subjects or issues the coachee would like to take into the coaching session
  7. Coaching is an individual space which provides time to reflect, review and refocus on development both personally and professionally
  8. There is a ‘Skills Audit & Development Plan’ and a ‘Super Strengths’ Exercise to complete and use in your coaching space
  9. Finally, the coaching is also a key part of the ‘Building your Coaching Skills’ within the course. ‘Building your Coaching Skills’ sessions are part of a C4C and EMCC (European Mentoring & Coaching Council) Coaching Skills Foundation Course and you have the opportunity to be awarded an accredited certificate – Linda Butler & Sarah Alexander C4C facilitators will provide more details.

Just – WOW….
“I am loving my coaching sessions with Mark. He is the best fit for me as a coach. He has been helping gaining clarity about my achievements in my role so far and also with some personal decisions I need to make in the near future. He is very good at challenging my thinking, holding up a mirror. He has also helped me on one occasion to breath and calm down before our session as I had been running from meeting to meeting and was feeling a bit flustered. He is an amazing coach, and I am so grateful to have been paired with him.”

Next steps and future planning workshop

Executive Group Coaching session to help:

  • Identify individual uniqueness to stand out.
  • Communicate your added value. • Reflect on Programme experience.
  • What you’ve learnt about yourself.
  • Where you are heading.

Reflecting on the Leadership Programme and the learning from the different elements using Group Coaching techniques

Using C4C’s Personal and Career Management Cycle to review where participants are and what they need to do in order to achieve their professional and personal goals.


After every workshop delivered, participants were asked to complete evaluation forms, they were also encouraged to feedback to the Staff Development Manager and their coaches.

There are ongoing conversations between Linda Butler from C4C and the Staff Development Manager. C4C has been asked to deliver again for the 2022/23 programme, a review meeting of the Induction Day from the last programme was held for January 2023 to take into consideration feedback.

C4C Coaches have been reviewed for the 2022/23 programme and based on excellent feedback will remain the same. Linda Butler has regular catch-up conversations with our coaches to ensure the process is fit for purpose. All of our coaches have Supervisors or can have confidential conversations with Linda Butler who is a qualified Coach Supervisor.

If you would like further information, please contact Emma Ford ( or Linda Butler (