In our 3×4 Coaching virtual learning journey, participants are given challenges to apply what they’ve learned on the job. In this video, our Chief Learning Officer, Peggy Baumgartner, showcases how one program participant used a challenge activity to make a lasting difference in his organization.

When it comes to coaching, it’s not about what you know; it’s what you do that ultimately matters. That’s why we make challenge activities a part of our online learning journeys. Participants are given a challenge and encouraged to make note of what works for them and what impact it had. One participant, taking the 3×4 Coaching program through Queen’s Executive Education, really took his challenge on recognition to heart.

Following the challenge, Dave Cooper shared that he had written a letter to his team to recognize their contributions through the pandemic. As the manager of retail leadership development for Sport Chek, a major retailer with approximately 250 stores, his team had been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Our training team got very disconnected from the stores, which was really difficult for me personally and difficult for our team,” Dave told us. “After going through eight months of this constant stress, I wanted to see if I could write something to recognize what they’d accomplished how long they had endured. And maybe give them a little nudge that they have more in them.”

Dave’s letter to his team was particularly effective because it took all the key concepts from the recognition module and used them in a very powerful way:

  • Make it relevant. Dave’s first success was in his timing. Rather than waiting until everything had settled down, he took the time to recognize his people in the moment and let them know they were seen.
  • Focus on the behavior, not results. In the letter, Dave recognized his people not for the results, but for their efforts. “You and your team have persevered well over 200 days,” the letter reads. “This is an incredible achievement!”
  • Make it a habit. Dave told us that he didn’t want it to be a one-time thing. Rather than writing a letter to his team and calling it job done, he set reminders in his calendar for future times he know would be busy to remind himself to recognize his team.
  • Extend influence & ownership to others. The impact of Dave’s letter didn’t stop at his direct reports. He challenged them to pay it forward: “thank your management teams, your full-timers, your part-timers and anyone else who has contributed to your store’s success,” he wrote. “Everyone plays a role!”

The people in Dave’s organization are sure to feel seen, heard and incredibly valued after reading his letter.

It’s always exciting to see the concepts we teach transferred back into the work world. If you’re excited about the possibilities coaching can open up, you can bring the 3×4 Coaching program to your organization or enrol as an individual through Queen’s Executive Education.