Meet Kamila Borkowska; General Manager of the Comfort Inn Westminster.
3 years ago, she – along with several other managers in her company – were initiated into Claris’ bag of tricks: a rigorous leadership and development training program implemented by Claris Coaching, specifically for managers. Included on the agenda was The Birkman Method, leadership and management competencies, and emotional intelligence power sessions.
Kamila shares her insights into the process.
CC: How did The Birkman impact you?
KB: “Firstly, I’ve really enjoyed having my Birkman profile explained. It is a powerful tool and it helped me to see my unique points, strengths and to clearly understand the areas of development I had at the time.
When I became a GM, I had overloaded myself but once I was shown my strengths and weaknesses, I learnt how to handle my stress.”
CC: What exactly happened in your training sessions that included developing emotional intelligence?
KB: “The sessions focused on understanding my own emotions, where they come from and why they feel the way they do. The next part was about how to move away from negative emotions. This year I took the SEI test and was introduced to the competencies related to the Six Seconds Model.
CC: Why was this important in your work role?
KB: “As managers we deal with lots of different people and different situations. For example, when motivating the team, it’s important to understand others and try to find ways to connect and develop relationships. If you understand people, they understand you, which actually is what creates this relationship. Motivating them then becomes easier.”
CC: What has been the overall outcome of that session for you?
KB: “Now I can understand different points of view and I try not to judge. If someone has a negative approach, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are a negative person. It’s important to deal with the problem objectively. Especially in the hospitality environment, people do tend to complain. However, through having emotional intelligence we can handle these customers in an appropriate and a positive way which is better for business and morale within the team.”
CC: Is there more to the process?
KB: “I continue to take Management Team Coaching sessions and am working towards my CMI Level 5 Certificate in Management. Claris’ founder, Tasneem, knows us all – our strengths and development points. She helped us to become stronger, and to believe in ourselves, changing negative approaches. She has also helped us to create a strategy, strengthen the structure in the organisation and to create procedures.”
CC: And now, 3 years later, how do you feel about your role as manager and your organisation in general?
KB: “We are stronger and more aware. We actually believe in ourselves and achieve more. We are more aware of what our staff want, we are stronger in emotional intelligence – so we are better in teamwork, in maintaining customer standards, and focusing on what is important in the business. We understand what leaders and what managers need and how to create a successful organisation. We know we need to start from the team/employees. Creating a family that cares for each other, support each other.
I love it.
We have also created an orientation manual and various documentations from a HR point of view. We do appraisals on a yearly basis now; we catch up consistently every 6 months.
We have a happy environment for the team members – they want to stay with the hotel, they wish to grow. We are much more open, creative, stronger, knowledgeable and able to move forward.”