Nina Hahn, Senior Vice President of Production Development for Nickelodeon, embarked on our Intensive Skills Programme with the intention of gaining fundamental skills and tools required to succeed in Executive Coaching. She is now using the tools on a daily basis both in her professional life as well as outside of the working environment, in her personal life. Here she reflects on her experience of the programme.
Given that you took the ICS several years ago, what are your memories of the programme?
"I remember it very vividly. Before I went in I was apprehensive, as there are many coaching programmes out there with lots of people now professing to be coaches. Although I already knew a member of the Management Futures team - which meant the programme already held some provenance for me - I thought it might be a bit ‘kum ba yah’ for me! So, I entered with some trepidation. But within the first half hour I felt completely safe to trust it. I bought into it immediately.
"Looking back, it was a transformative experience which grew from strength to strength as the course progressed. A lot of that was down to the course facilitator and their style and the way the information is shared. A lot of it is unspoken, so you can take it or leave it. There is an honest and candid approach – they don’t need you to believe but encourage you to take as much or as little away from it as you want. It was really great.
"I also had a particularly interesting group of people and although we all worked at slightly different paces this didn’t impede each individual’s trajectory. After an hour I was really in to it; addicted, hungry and fascinated. It was a great experience."
It’s great to hear that the experience was a really positive one for you. How have you used the skills you learned?
"I went on to undertake the full certification and worked directly with the course leader to take my learning to the next level. I didn’t do the final paper in the end as I ran out of time but I embarked on some more specific coaching experience after the initial taster sessions on the ICS which had fired my enthusiasm for coaching!
"After the course, I put my name down for the coaching programme at Viacom (which owns Nickelodeon) and I’m now using my skills a lot as one of their official coaches.
"I also use my skills outside of work where applicable. What surprised me the most about my learning experience were the tools that the ICS gives you to use in all interactions with any other individuals – to negotiate situations, with your kids, your friends and your partner.
"The only downside as a super fan is figuring out when not to use it! It’s easy to get over-zealous and have it take over every aspect of your life. I’ve used it 150%. It was like a light switch moment for me."
It sounds as though the skills have become firmly embedded in a central way in your life…
"I use them everywhere – they’ve been a big help with teenagers!
"They’ve generally helped the way I think. I’ve not yet used them on myself, but I have with friends and in every other aspect of my life.
"If I had to pick one aspect I use the most then I think that would have to be open questions. Obviously I use these with clients but also generally out and about in the world in discussions with people - especially with a prickly person or somebody who is very ego-driven.
"Open questions can be super helpful, and I didn’t make the distinction between open and closed before."
Moving on from skills, at Management Futures we work hard at providing a high level of support for delegates throughout the programme and beyond. How did you feel MF supported you along your ICS journey?
"They’re like your parents – always at the end of the phone if you need them. There was 100% support whenever I asked.
"One time I was struggling to remember the peak/flow exercise from the course which I needed for a client and I’d lost my manual which was like my bible! I emailed to ask for the manual and a digital copy was sent straight away which was fantastic.
"I actually met up with the course facilitator 3 years after completing the course and it was as if no time had passed. We had some really fun and thought-provoking conversations. What I liked most is while they’re your support they’re also your colleagues."
And, finally, can you think of five words that would describe the ICS to someone who’d never heard of it before?
"Transformative, authentic, intimate, efficient and fairly priced."
ARE YOU FEELING INSPIRED?
We are incredibly proud of our ICS programme which introduces novice and experienced coaches to the fundamental skills and tools required in Executive Coaching. As you can see, many of our ICS Alumni go on to complete further professional certifications in coaching and successfully coach senior leaders as internal coaches or independent professional coaches.
We have a number of programmes running throughout the year - please click here to see the dates.
To find out more contact Sarah Campbell on +44 (0)20 7928 4841 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org