With a history stretching back to the 18th Century AXA Group employs 214,000 employees and distributors worldwide and has major operations in Europe, North America and the Asia/Pacific area. 95 million clients worldwide have placed their trust in AXA to insure their property (cars, homes, belongings), provide health and personal protection for their families or employees, and to manage their personal or corporate assets.
VBL work with the Learning and Development Department of AXA UK covering all aspects of AXA business. We have been awarded preferred supplier status so that senior managers, who have identified coaching as an approach to develop their leadership and management skills, contact us to provide coaching on a one-to-one basis. The majority of our work to date has been with the senior managers of the Group Chief Operations Officer (Group COO) and with AXA Insurance based in London and Bristol. Whilst AXA have their own internal coaches, with key senior staff they do recognise the value of using an external coaching provider. They work closely with us to set strong coaching objectives and all objectives are reviewed after three and six sessions to ensure the full value of coaching is achieved. In relation to the way we work with the qualified internal coaches, AXA employ Karen Frost - Director of Coaching at VBL - to supervise the coaching activities of one of their senior managers who is also a fully qualified coach.
Having recently qualified as a coach with the CIPD to Advanced Certificate level, this senior manager at AXA had the opportunity to work with a range of individuals who had been identified through their talent as future leaders. The senior manager wanted to further develop their coaching skills and to have their internal coaching work supervised by an external coaching supervisor. This kept them credible and within the code of ethics set by the European Mentoring & Coaching Council (EMCC). Because Karen was already working with AXA, she understood the internal culture and as she was fully qualified as a coaching supervisor, it was sensible that she supervise the work of the qualified manager with a coaching qualification.
The initial contract was for one years coaching supervision which provided six sessions set at timely intervals to support the manager with their coaching activities. In addition, Karen was also available at any time to provide supervision between sessions to address ethical or developmental needs that arose through the coaching work.
The internal coach at AXA was able to set specific objectives for further development having achieved their professional qualification in coaching. During the one year contract they were able to bring issues that arose in the coaching practice to their supervision sessions and additional calls. This expanded their coaching skills and gave them the confidence needed to coach across the whole of the AXA business.
Coaching supervision is a recognised and respected part of coaching. The EMCC and the International Coaching Federation (ICF) expect all their members to be in regular supervision. It provides support and continual professional development to all coaches and is particularly helpful to those who are recently qualified.