Splash Coaches bring new dimension to ESSEC students’ project experience

ESSEC | Clinique FSEF

“One of the residents can only control his wheelchair using his chin, so before the path was built, it was impossible for him to explore the green space around the hospital…”

Over four days in September 2022, a team of 43 GMBA students at ESSCA Business School, followed by a team of 37 IMHI students, built a 55 metre-long pathway for disabled children staying at Clinique FSEF Neufmoutiers en Brie in central France.

The pathway, which was started in the spring by a 25-strong team from global building material manufacturer ETEX, has enabled the young patients to explore rural environments beyond the confines of the hospital.

“The pathway has enabled wheelchair bound patients to go beyond the four walls of the hospital, that’s what really excites them, that they can get into the open for a while, breathe fresh air in the parkland surroundings,” said Chris Marren, who is our co-director of Splash Coaching with Patrick Parker.

Throughout the projects, professional coaches Chris and Patrick observed and interacted with the students at work both individually and as sub-groups where emergent difficulties were discussed and unpacked enabling enhanced reflection.

Each evening they facilitated after action reviews, covering the four phases of the project build – planning, leading, managing and executing – as well as specific programme objectives, including ‘exploring leadership and management styles in an unfamiliar environment’.

When the coaching conversation is brought into the learning experience of participants, far greater self-reflection and awareness is fostered, which enables lessons to be reinforced and taken back into the learning and work environments.

“At the end of the project, the students were asked to think about, and reflect upon the role they each played as individuals, and as a collective in this magnificent project,” added Chris. “This was a time to explore their thoughts, feelings and emotions and to celebrate what an achievement they had all contributed together as a team – a period when emotions (and tears) flowed.”

Mickael Renaud, Quality, Risk and Project Manager at the Clinique, added: “To us, this pathway is a real wellbeing space between the inside and the outside the main building of our charity.

“It gives the opportunity for our patients and their family to take time off in a quiet space. It allows them to practice with their wheelchair, to obtain new goals and to become real actors of their cure.

“It gives them the opportunity to discover new areas of our park, trees and animals they could never otherwise see so close before.”

For more information about Splash Coaching and how it can enhance your project click here