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Straight from the horse’s mouth: how this catering manager raced to a successful finish

Straight from the horse’s mouth: how this catering manager raced to a successful finish

Straight from the horse’s mouth: how this catering manager raced to a successful finish

Ask David Trotter how he feels after a one-on-one coaching session with Tickety Boo Training and he is frank with his reply.

“I feel knackered,” he says. “And my colleagues say the same. When you’ve had a good session you’re tired because you’re continually thinking about yourself and trying to say what you think. But after a good night’s sleep you feel like a million dollars – more energized, focused, ready for anything that comes your way.”

When David, catering services director for Sodexo Prestige in Scotland, first turned up at Tickety Boo’s Dunblane offices, he was suspicious. He believed his line manager had influenced the meeting with Annie and that she had been given an agenda.

Having laid his cards on the table, it didn’t take long for David to build up trust with Annie and a relationship he describes as,

“a bit like a doctor and patient. I can talk about anything and I know it’s staying within these four walls.”

Annie’s skillful tactics – using neuro-linguistic programming techniques – drew out of David

“information I never thought existed,” he says. “She asked me why I hadn’t challenged certain things in the business, what was stopping me from certain things, what I was going to do to change that, and gave me objectives and a timeframe to meet them.”

What came out of that initial meeting and subsequent coaching sessions surprised David; it turns out he did indeed want promotion, he just hadn’t realised it in himself. In the meantime, he and his colleagues felt the knock-on effect of Annie’s work.

“I did about six of these sessions over two years. I would notice a difference in myself. I was more engaged, more focused, I was being clearer with my own team and my line manager. I became a better communicator. That’s why it was good for me to have the sessions every six weeks at the start, then every four months,” says David.

Annie says that the cycle David experienced – of feeling wiped out after a session, then highly energised soon after – is common among her clients, particularly those at senior level.

“They need to be brave enough to have a deep dive into themselves. We’re all very busy people, so when do you ever find the opportunity to stop and only think about you for two, three or four hours? It’s fairly focused, although hopefully a gentle process. But in coaching like this there’s nowhere to hide. It gives you the opportunity to stop all the distractions and internal voices. Hence that somewhat drained feeling afterwards.”

Before long David felt prepared to take on a new role, “My mind was prepared for promotion” and, sure enough, a promotion came. He went from being in charge of catering services for Hampden Park in Glasgow to heading up all stadia and racecourses in Scotland, the position he holds now.

As well as those one-on-one coaching sessions, David has recommended Tickety Boo to colleagues and hired the company for group training for his staff. He also went on a coaching course so that he could coach colleagues who do not report directly to him and his line managers.
David sees the positives among his staff too. “Three of my General Managers have had coaching from Annie and I have seen a difference in their work, resulting in benefits for the business. There are clear positives with the development in people and better results financially.”