A common mistake often made is to just use classic approaches when it comes to people and organizational development: Either consulting, coaching, training or facilitating workshops with groups of people.
“Those approaches are most often too generic”, explains Thomas Orths, CEO of WellCelerators LLC. He continues, quote: “There is a better way to approach this on a much more personal level. Working one to one, without boxing the approach into ‘coaching’, ‘consulting’ or ‘training’. Instead it is a very ‘personal intervention’.”, unquote.
Thomas Orths discovered a new way of people and organizational development when working with leadership teams and shift workers in manufacturing. The organizations suffered from disruptive behavior of staff members who were actively disengaged, causing trouble, destroying morale, polarizing the workforce against the management teams.
To get a grip on the situation, it became clear that swift action was needed to identify individuals that were irritated and actively disengaged. The goal was at best to turn them around into productive contributors, or at least neutralize them to be just disengaged, but stopping them from being disruptive.
This new approach consists of adding ‘personal interventions’ to the classical method of coaching employees to improve performance. Personal Intervention’ is a very targeted and effective treatment – just like acupuncture. The conductor can address specific pain points in the most targeted way while working with the individual. It is like positioning acupuncture needles at selected specific acupuncture points. The result is release of pain and improvement of the current circumstances.
When facing difficult circumstances and actively disengaged staff, the key question is who to work with and how to get their agreement to do so. This is where fact finding calls come in. Through a series of 45-min calls speaking to each member of the leadership team and selected individuals from all levels and departments, deep rooted core problems between staff members become quickly apparent.
The key is to gain trust during those fact finding calls and getting individuals to open up. A key question is to ask “What is working WELL?”. A very open question, on purpose. Answers can be people related, process related, gains in personal life, anything goes.
By starting the call this way, connecting to the positive energy of “What is working well” is the best way in. “How can that be accelerated?” is a next question that focuses on how to improve on what is already working well. This is the core of the WellCelerators approach. How to improve and accelerate what is working well.
“Now let us look at what is not working well?” With this next question executive coach Thomas Orths explores deeper issues that cause irritation, disruption, resentment possibly causing actively disengaged behavior. By searching for deep pain points in the organization this way, identifying them on the individual level, opens the door to work and resolve those deep pain points.
All too often, the individuals first chosen for fact finding calls are not the only ones that need to be worked with in personal interventions.. The first round of fact finding calls leads to identifying additional key people to work with.
These fact finding calls are confidential. No reporting of detailed content. Otherwise the coach cannot build any trust. The next stage is follow-up calls with individuals to find out more about what is going on – and how to address it. This is the gateway to “personal interventions” where the ‘magic’ can begin.
Experts conducting personal interventions need to be highly skilled: Being able to pick and choose from many different approaches to enable individuals to transform. This can range from Hypnotherapy, fast EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), Releasing techniques and many more. This is as targeted as acupuncture: A series of personal interventions, 90-min to 2 hours long each, spread over 6-8 weeks in a proven sequence, resulting in observable behavior change of individuals.
- they feel listened to;
- they feel deeply understood;
- they work through deep issues, often related to private life;
- they move out of victim mode and become proactive contributors;
- they feel the organization cares about them by investing in individual sessions to resolve issues;
- they can request sessions at will. It’s not openly communicated who gets sessions. To get labeled “She/He gets coaching!” could be counterproductive;
It is not an official coaching program or training program.
The content is never identical. Instead those sessions are customized “personal interventions”. Which is why they work, over time, without fail. This increased focus on working with individuals on all levels is not common in organizational development. Thomas Orths has worked in Leadership and Team Development for decades. He points out: “A general ‘employee survey’ will not get to the root causes of problems in an organization. And a group approach will not resolve deep personal issues. No training, no workshop, no program that is rolled out can compare to the individual positive impact of ‘Personal Interventions.”