“There are precious insights to be gained”

22nd February by Lee Robertson

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Talita Ferreira Management Shift

For more than 25 years Talita Ferreira has led and inspired either finance or “people”/HR teams, helping to transform team culture, driving, and inspiring change and developing new leadership paradigms for global brands in multiple industries. Specialising in helping leaders reinvent or adapt their leadership style, she talks about her experience of The Management Shift Accreditation Programme for Coaches.

 Your corporate experience began in the South African banking sector before you pursued a hugely successful career with senior positions in the automotive and financial services industries. What led you to coaching?

During my corporate career as chief financial and chief people officer I often worked in the larger markets of the BMW Group. As such I was regularly asked to mentor more junior finance professionals or CFOs in the smaller markets. When I started to pursue a portfolio career it was a natural progression to start offering blended mentoring/coaching services to executives and high potentials. Sometimes analytical professionals want to learn from previous experiences and what worked in certain circumstances.

In 2017 I certified with Professor Vlatka Hlupic in The Management Shift (“TMS”) Accreditation for Practitioners, to deliver the 6-Box Leadership diagnostic for organisations. It is a natural progression for me to incorporate the TMS individual shift principles into my consulting and coaching practice.

What is it about The Management Shift approach and the Accreditation Programme for Coaches that resonates with you?

There is a great need for more humane leadership, and I have always believed that Vlatka's TMS approach is the 'how-to' for organisational and individual collaborative change and unlimited potential. I found that The Management Shift approach is very logical and easy to understand and the fact that it is research-based really resonates with individuals and organisations. Having done both certifications, I can also clearly see the links between the individual assessment and the organisational 6 box Leadership diagnostic and how important it would be to align and change individual behaviours to realise the ‘Big Shift’ at an organisational level. The interconnectedness between the individual and the greater system, as a whole, very much came to the forefront within the training.

The ‘Big Shift’ is a shift from level 3 (orderly for organisations and controlled for individuals) to level 4 (collaborative for organisations and enthusiastic for individuals) and level 5 (unbounded for organisations and limitless for individuals).

The five levels of the Emergent Leadership Model always resonate with individuals. When one explains some of the emotions, the language patterns used, and characteristics of the level, people can immediately identify with it in their own organisations and resonate with it in their personal lives, e.g., silo orientation vs collaborative working together to solve challenges. From working in a large corporate to running a small business, I can also personally and readily identify with the emergent leadership principles and humane leadership vision.

What were some of the positives and challenges you experienced doing the online programme?

One of the challenges was that I set myself a very ambitious 10-week completion goal. It was going very well and then a family member became unwell and I had to delay completing my reflective assignment to January 2021. In hindsight this worked out well as I could focus on the right priorities and give myself enough time for the reflective assignment. Sometimes we need to learn to be kinder to ourselves. On a very positive note, I felt that my intuition really grew throughout the programme due to the added insights from the approach. I trusted more that I would use the correct approach for each individual, that I would go deeper into a specific topic to unlock greater potential for my clients. I have also found that sharing my own insights and practical tools about my shift has helped my clients see causal connections and accelerate their insights and realisations.

The Management Shift means a shift for the leaders and managers who go through the process, but the programme also promises a shift for the coach completing it. Can you describe your personal experience of going through what Professor Vlatka Hlupic calls the ‘Big Shift’?

My first interaction with the Individual self-assessment was in 2017 when I accredited in the organisational assessment. One of my main realisations is that the assessment is a snapshot in time and can be significantly influenced by the circumstances or organisational conditions we find ourselves in—for instance, the level of control or where we are in the pandemic life cycle. Due to the pandemic, my own results at level 4 and 5 are much lower than they were in 2017 when I did the first TMS certification. This was a real insight and eye-opener for me. There are precious insights to be gained from taking the assessment at different times and evaluating the changed scores, possible reasons and circumstance changes. This will be a key recommendation from my side when my coaching clients change roles or face new challenges.

What does your coaching model look like and how has The Management Shift approach added value to your practice?

I utilise the Grow model and the Authenticity POWER model® from my first book “The Authenticity Dilemma Resolved”. Most of my clients are analytical professionals that find it difficult to focus on softer skills, let go of control, and continuously guard against wanting to do things themselves. The TMS approach is very well suited to analytical professionals as it allows them a systematic approach to uncovering realisations themselves.

You established Authentic Change Solutions Ltd in late 2016. Can you please tell us about who are you working with?

I work with a range of organisations, academies, finance and human resources professionals and directors through the various business streams I offer. Through leadership and strategy training with the Institute of Directors I interact with 20-40 directors a month in medium and large organisations in multiple industries. In cultural transformation I have worked with BMW, Alphabet and BMW Financial Services in Germany and multiple membership organisations in the UK. Through my coaching business I have worked with people directors, CFOs and high potential finance leaders. Through public speaking I have worked with companies like BMS, ICAEW, SAICA, CXO NOW, Excellence Squared, Winmark, FinEx andHOFT.

What typically are the challenges or opportunities you have been asked to help clients with?

Aligning the mindset and behaviours of leaders and organisational culture to a transformational strategic change agenda and unlocking leadership and team potential. Additionally, I am often approached when high potential leaders or directors need to engage differently with their teams to unlock potential and/or resilience or build credibility and influence within the organisation or with other board members.

Have you seen the need for leadership/management coaching change in any way as we have gone through the coronavirus pandemic?

I definitely feel a more resilient approach to leadership is necessary. From working with clients in the pandemic some of the more traditional command and control behaviours emerged during the pandemic. I found that it is important to be conscious and aware of lower-level emotions, thoughts and expressions and help others identify this as a first step. This unlocks greater awareness for them and allows them to be more resilient. The more awareness we bring to other leaders, the more significant the change and impact they can have on the wider organisation.

Tailored virtual team engagement sessions have also been an area of focus with some clients. Using stimulating virtual activities to draw out themes and allowing leaders to share their vulnerabilities in a safe space has allowed greater team insights and collaboration. For instance, the need for more empathy in one of the finance teams I worked with.

How do you initially engage your clients with The Management Shift approach and the value it offers?

I lead with the power of The Management Shift Individual Assessment for leaders and the 5-level approach – lifeless, reluctant, controlled, to enthusiastic and limitless. We all have all five levels within us at any given time. The levels fluctuate and can increase or decrease depending on the situations that we face.

Through unlocking more awareness regarding our emotions, thoughts and language patterns at each level we can gain valuable insights about how we lead and how we impact other people around us. After all leaders are a contagion in their organisations and can create a very negative culture without being aware of their impact.

What kind of impact is The Management Shift approach having for those you are working with?

For me the greatest benefits to the individual leaders I have coached through the certification are:

  • Greater awareness and self-realisations
  • The accelerated nature of the results and conversations due to the systematic approach
  • The importance of recognising different perspectives through the leader and follower relationships
  • Accessing creativity through using an envisioning process including feelings, emotions and thoughts
  • Anchoring learning through the use of keywords that trigger reminders, of for instance, lower level thinking, language or thought
  • How to unlock leadership potential in others and impacting the team through sharing insights from the coaching.

Whilst respecting confidentiality, can you tell us about a coaching situation that had an impact on you?

Two of my clients had a realisation about emotions following some sessions - one about his own emotions and not sharing enough with the team and the other regarding his impact on the team's emotions as a whole and the individual team members. These insights were very powerful as these individuals would not have discussed emotions so openly without the realisations from the TMS assessment and 5-level approach.

Our deepest thanks to Talita for sharing her story with us.

More information about The Management Shift Accreditation Programme for Coaches can be found on Professor Vlatka Hlupic's website