Case study

Developing self-awareness as a leader
“It’s an absolutely fantastic programme. It’s intensive and it’s practical - you haven’t just got someone talking at you but actually you put all of these skills into motion during the programme and outside of it. I found it amazing for developing self-awareness as a leader. It’s helped me hit another level of leadership development.” Harmony - GM Director Advertising at eBay UK

Watch eBay UK's advertising director, Harmony, share her Circl experience here.


eBay is a global commerce leader that connects millions of buyers and sellers around the world. Started in 1995, eBay celebrated its 25th anniversary last year as a champion of e-commerce and economic opportunity.

As a business, eBay has been recognised for being committed to inclusivity and responsibility; not only have they been ranked by Forbes as one of the world’s best employers, they’ve also received a 100% scorecard for 13 years in a row by the Corporate Equality Index and the Corporate Philanthropy Award by Silicon Valley Business Journal. Circl’s socially-conscious leadership programme was the perfect match for the eBay UK team, who were able to upskill their staff and impact diverse young talent at the same time.

During the programme, 10 eBay professionals were matched with an underrepresented student from Bayes Business School. Over 12 weeks, the pairs worked together by 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. 

For Circl Match, Harmony and Manel (in the video above), this involved coaching each other to improve Harmony’s work-life balance and Manel’s exam revision. The two-way nature of Circl’s programme ensures that both the professional and student are treated as equals; it isn’t a mentor-mentee relationship. “For the first couple of sessions, we set clear goals and I wasn’t able to meet some of the targets that I set. However after the first couple of sessions we really did start to see traction. I think what was amazing was seeing that journey come together. I’d go away and reflect on what Manel had asked me - when you’re being coached it takes time and one of the things that made it better was Manel’s attitude.” - Harmony

By the end of the programme, 100% of the professionals said they had a better understanding of young people and the average score they gave themselves for their coaching knowledge was 9/10.  Several employees noted how their coaching skills had proven to be beneficial in the workplace:

“As a lawyer, it's a helpful framework when working through a situation where I need to provide advice to a client - I have been using these techniques to probe deeper into the issue at hand.” eBay UK professional
“I have especially found open questions and listening and paraphrasing useful skills in the workplace. Becoming comfortable with silence and asking open questions have led to some rich conversations with my peers.” eBay UK professional


The biggest highlights for the team were the interactive nature of the programme, and the fact that they were able to personally develop while developing a young Future Leader at the same time. For the Future Leaders, 100% of the participants agreed the Circl programme helped to develop leadership skills that will be useful for future work, and all reported improved knowledge of coaching and confidence in meeting new people.