“Having someone that walks the same learning path as you made a huge difference. Having a younger person opened my perspective and helped me face my challenges with more creative ways that I didn't think of before” Workplace from Meta professional
Social technology platform Meta (previously Facebook), places great importance on the learning and development of their employees. Team members from both Meta and Workplace from Meta (it’s enterprise communication and collaboration platform) have worked with Circl on a number of programmes to enhance the leadership skills of new starters, senior managers and C-suite execs. Through previous programmes, the Meta team saw huge benefits from coaching and enjoyed being able to work with and directly impact diverse young people who are vastly underrepresented in the tech industry.
Following past success, Workplace from Meta took part in another Circl programme in 2021 where 16 team members were each matched with an underrepresented student. The pairs worked together for 12 weeks, undertaking coaching training and developing their active listening, observation and communication skills. The matches would arrange meetings outside of the theory sessions to put their new coaching skills to practice, by coaching each other on their personal goals and development.
Yasmin, Global Partner Operations & Strategy Lead, and Future Leader, Temi, were matched together for the programme where they instantly clicked ( featured in the video above).
“We had a really open and honest dialogue about what we were here to achieve and some of the challenges that we were going through.” - Yasmin.
Coaching each other over 3 months, the pair soon started noticing results of what they were learning. Yasmin noticed improvements in her communication skills, learning when to be quiet and how to ask the right questions to empower people to reach their own solutions. Her coaching sessions with Temi also impacted how she communicated with her own manager. “She helped me think through things in a pragmatic way and structure conversations that I was going to have after our sessions with other colleagues. [Without these sessions], I might not have been able to communicate my career goals to my manager.”
Temi noticed a huge improvement in her confidence. Outside of the programme, Temi knew that she loved helping people; however during the programme she realised that the way she had been doing so wasn’t necessarily the best approach. “The way I used to help people wasn’t what they actually needed. Sometimes people need you to take a step back, listen to them and allow them to process it first before you give advice. How you perceive things isn’t always useful for them. That’s one of the biggest takeaways I’ve had.”
By the end of the programme, the Meta professionals reported how coaching had vastly improved their communication and management skills at work. Having previously rated their coaching knowledge as 5/10, by the end of the programme the team rated themselves an average of 9/10. 93% believed that working alongside an underrepresented young person strengthened their learning of the coaching skills and 85% now believe they have improved on the tools needed to empower their team members. They reported that the most valuable skills they developed were their active listening skills, understanding the ability to ask powerful questions and being able to structure an effective coaching conversation. They also loved the two-way, equal nature of the programme working alongside the Future Leaders. 100% of the Future Leaders agreed the Circl programme helped them to develop leadership skills that will be useful for future work and increased their confidence in meeting new people.
“The coaching skills helps with the structure of conversation in 1:1s I have with my teams. It brings direction but also allows for more organic conversations and solutions to come to the fore.” Meta professional
“The Circl programme has boosted my confidence - there’s no need to advise every time, you can coach and find solutions to the problems, together.” Meta professional
Learn more about Circl's unique leadership development programme here.