Traci Schrah is the Director of Talent Management for the West Division of Comcast, which represents over 20,000 employees. She sets the strategy for talent development: identifying high potentials, making the right investments, determining the ROI, addressing gaps in succession planning, and linking all of that activity back to talent discussions for high potentials. In her role developing leaders, she saw the need for a common language about executive presence to enable more valuable talent discussions and more tangible ways to bridge the gaps.
Traci earned her Bates ExPITM Certification in 2017 so that she could leverage the ExPITM as a key element in Comcast talent development tool kit.
Experience and Outcomes:
We asked her some questions about her experience in becoming certified and what’s happened since then.
What did you see as the value of going through the ExPI Certification program, including working with a partner to practice the process?
“Going through Certification gave me more in-depth knowledge of the model and how you walk someone through it all. One thing that Bates has done for our program at Comcast is that it has given us a common language around executive presence that didn't exist before. Now we can have tangible discussions about building awareness and bridging the gaps. In the Certification Program, I loved getting paired up with a partner to practice. From that, I learned about connecting the dots between facets, and I learned how to not lead the witness. Also, learning how to create a good flow in an insights meeting was invaluable. I got the Certification and then quickly was able to use the skills and help others get insights from their own ExPIs.”
Give me an example of a story of a leader who has gone through the ExPITM with you as their coach: What were some insights that you arrived at through use of the report and the process?
“One in particular was around the concepts of over-strengths—the idea that you can have too much of any facet in the model. This was really interesting with one leader. I think she had Resonance as an over-strength, maybe Humility, too. What we saw was that the leader wanted so much to be liked that it was impacting her in other ways. Her Assertiveness was low, and people wanted to hear more from her. These over-strengths also affected her prioritization. She was taking on too many things and stretching herself too thin. I said to her, ‘You’re doing really well when it comes to demonstrating Resonance and Humility... Is there a chance you're doing this too well?’ Then we talked about what triggers her to do that and what she could do differently.”
What have you seen as the business impact of the ExPITM for leaders who have undergone the process with you?
“When I coached our Senior Leadership Team leaders in one of our regions, that's where I saw the biggest impact. A lot of them had their lowest scores from their Peer raters. This makes sense as they’ve had team members come in and out, but it helped them to realize that they’re not gelling as a leadership team. This got them focused on how that impacts their ability to lead in their region. We haven't seen the full impact yet of that work because we went through that just a few months ago, but we're going to see more impact from this assessment going forward.”
What were some insights you picked up about yourself by going through your own report with your coach on your original insights call?
"One of the biggest aha moments was with the facet of Inclusiveness. One thing I noticed about myself when I discussed it with my coach is that I like to jump in and give my opinion first on things, and that may keep others from wanting to contribute. Once you’ve said what you believe to be true, it may make other reluctant to share their views. I’ve passed what I learn on to my team. I say to them, ‘Open it up first with inquiry and create an environment where others can speak up.’”