Coaching has been one of the most beneficial aspects of the UCD Smurfit MBA Personal Development Programme in my experience. It is something I was offered in the past, but did not take up at the time due to time pressures.
In Year 2 of the EMBA, there are three coaching sessions offered to every single EMBA student. In these one-on-one sessions, I set out my goals and my plans for achieving them. In my case, this was my business plan. My coach acted as a sounding board and through the coach’s skilful questions, it challenged certain assumptions I held and encouraged me to tease out certain issues – challenges that I envisaged and how I planned to overcome them. The coach helped me pin down my preferences on the options that were before me.
Managers can sometimes get caught up in the day-to-day operational aspects of the business and neglect to come up for air and look at the big picture and where they should be heading. Have the goalposts changed? A few sessions with a professional business coach can help you to take stock and review your position and focus on getting to where you want to go next.
Kate Healy, EMBA 2010-12
One of the things that attracted me to the UCD Smurfit MBA over other post graduate business courses was the emphasis on personal development (PPD). Above all else, I wanted to find a course that stimulated me, challenged me and gave me new perspectives on the challenges we face in business.
We had the opportunity to do some personality tests back in SEM1 of YR1. I have done exercises like this in the past, which I did not find particularly enlightening. However, this was a whole different ball game. While I consider myself to be quite self-aware, I was surprised by some of the findings that arose from this period of personal discovery that occurs in the first phase of PPD.
Following one of the personality tests called Strength Deployment Inventory, we were put into groups with other individuals with similar personality types. I remember the group members looking at each other with quizzical expressions. We felt we were quite a diverse group and we were surprised that we shared similar traits. The facilitator went through the typical personality traits with us – our strengths, how those strengths could become weaknesses and how we tend to respond under pressure. He outlined factors to watch out for in terms of our interactions with other personality types.
Certain personality types have different preferences in terms of styles of communicating and making decisions. Some people like to have only high level information – they are the types of people who only want the key information in bullet points in an email. Others like to have much greater detail about the process of how something will work.
This type of knowledge about yourself and the people around you is very valuable in terms of how you work together effectively in managing Highly Effective Teams and progress issues.
Kate Healy, EMBA 2010-12