Better Client Service Through Executive Coaching and Training

GAI’s Executive Coaching and Training Program helps prepare our leaders to better deliver on our ‘Client-First’ pledge. Terrance O’Toole, EdD, talks about how the training prompts participants to look inward in order to grow self-perception skills that support and advance our primary customer-service principles.

Terry O'Toole
Terrance O’Toole, EdD

GAI’s ‘Client-First’ approach means that we pledge to earn our customers’ trust and confidence with every project we undertake. Our ongoing Executive Coaching and Training Program is a prime example of how GAI prepares to deliver on our Client-First promise.

What Is Client-First?

Through Client-First education and training, each GAI employee is instilled with a solid understanding of how client relationships work and what it takes to develop solid, long-lasting relationships. Client-First is an internal culture at GAI, built on the tenets of service excellence including quality, attention, accessibility, responsiveness, follow-through, and recovery.

“Client-First is why we exist,” said Terrance O’Toole, EdD, Leadership and Organization Consultant for GAI. Dr. O’Toole guides GAI employees through a training curriculum that draws upon more than 40 years of experience in organizational and leadership development, team building, and executive coaching.

“One way Terry’s work empowers GAI to build better client relationships is by enhancing our leaders’ instincts for perceiving and responding to client needs.”

Anthony Morrocco, PE, PLS, MBA, GAI President

“One way Terry’s work empowers GAI to build better client relationships is by enhancing our leaders’ instincts for perceiving and responding to client needs,” said Anthony Morrocco, PE, PLS, MBA, GAI President and key champion of GAI’s Client-First program. “Every step we can take toward improvement from within is another step toward better and more complete fulfillment of our Client-First pledge.”

Nurturing Individual Development to Build a Better Organization

A key element of the Client-First program is the goal of building a common focus on customer service throughout the GAI organization. “If we don’t treat the customers right, we won’t be a company,” said Dr. O’Toole. His executive coaching helps prepare participants to remain accessible and responsive to client concerns, and dedicated to following through on commitments in order to meet or exceed client expectations.

“While adapting to clients and consumers, it is important for companies and organizations to remember that the same qualities they strive to project to the public need to be maintained within,” said Dr. O’Toole. He has perfected the art of supporting organizational development from the inside out―spanning succession and strategic planning, leadership development, employee relations, and performance management. While keeping the needs of the clients and consumers at the forefront, Dr. O’Toole works to bring individuals and teams together to collaborate and develop ideas, goals, and action plans.

Dr. O’Toole’s executive coaching curriculum starts with these self-assessment questions:

Where are you right now?
Describe your perception of where you are, who are the members of your team, and what everybody’s specific roles are. “It is important to be realistic,” said Dr. O’Toole. “The answers to these questions establish the starting point for working toward your success.”

Where do you want to be in 2-3 years?
Envision a future of where you would like to see yourself, your team, or your company, and create the necessary stepping stones needed to achieve your goal. “Now is the time to identify key strengths and weaknesses,” said Dr. O’Toole. “It’s necessary to be mindful of internal and external factors that may affect this journey, such as industry or political trends, finances, or competitors.”

What is the vision and mission of your organization/department?
A vision statement spells out how you picture the future state of your business or company and why your organization exists. A mission statement will then specify the ‘Who,’ ‘What,’ and ‘How’: who are your clients or consumers, what are you providing, and how you plan to do so.

How do we bring your plan to life?
By creating an open dialogue using the previous questions, you can then prioritize and develop a plan of action. “An action plan will identify the order of your stepping stones, who will take the lead, and what timeline will be the most functional and beneficial,” said Dr. O’Toole. “This action plan will bring your goals to life. Without an action plan everything is a dream.”

Adapting to Better Serve Ever-Evolving Clients

“The program asks participants to look at themselves in the mirror and honestly describe what they see,” said Dr. O’Toole. There is no doubt that self-analysis is not always easy, but the results on an individual level can be well worth it. The same goes for companies and organizations.

“As companies and organizations continuously evolve and adapt to meet the needs of their clients and consumers, they, too, need to reflect on the state of their business, their strengths and weaknesses, and their future goals and direction,” said Dr. O’Toole. While doing so, many ideas may come to life, new leadership may form, required skillsets may change, or internal realignment may be needed.

Whether for an executive professional, start-up business, or Fortune 200 organization, GAI’s Executive Coaching and Training Program is an indispensable tool for identifying strengths and areas of need and fostering growth. “Offering such a program to GAI employees grants us the opportunity to create alignment, build relationships, and transform perspectives,” said Dr. O’Toole. “Most importantly, this program creates a base for forming trust and honesty and developing character and competency.” Dr. O’Toole’s work has helped support and advance GAI’s standards through a practical, hands-on approach that grows and strengthens our company’s ability to make good on our Client-First pledge.

Contact Senior Training and Development Specialist Patty Racz, MA, MS for more information about GAI’s organizational development program.

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