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08/18/2022 IHG Careers Team

Dr Rebecca Newton returns to turn leaders into sponsors


As part of our first ever Room to Grow Week, we’ve encouraged teams from around the globe to come together for series of enriching global roundtables, workshops and discussions focussed on personal and career progression.

Hosted by Vice President HR, Europe, Kirsty Hart, and Bathobile Gule, Vice President Human Resources - Global Marketing – our final sessions of the week welcomed back CEO of CoachAdvisor, Senior Visiting Fellow at London School of Economics, author and regular contributor to Forbes and Harvard Business Review – Dr Rebecca Newton.


Dr Newton’s workshop took our People and HR leaders for a deep-dive into the kinds of empowering coaching conversations they can have with their teams to be truly transformational people managers:

“We want to be great people leaders – to have a positive impact on our colleagues we work with and to support their career development. In this session we discussed the power and importance of good coaching-style conversations. These enable us to identify others’ strengths, their energizers, to understand what ‘Room to Grow’ means to them, what positive stretch looks like, and to play an active role in supporting their professional growth. It was a great pleasure to spend time with the People Managers and HR team at IHG. They were engaged, enthusiastic and committed to their own personal development to be the best leaders they can be.”

Over the course of an hour, Dr Newton delved into the world of neuroscience to cover everything from effective reflection and the power of prospection to help shape the kind of leaders our attendees want to be, to effective tools and frameworks designed to help them build connection and set up conversations for success. Preparing and framing positive conversations – as well as identifying how to have difficult conversations well.

Above all else, Dr Newton encouraged our leaders to think of themselves as sponsors. Sharing valuable insight into how they can become ‘Strength Spotters’ capable of delivering clarity and promoting ‘positive stretch’ – hitting the sweet spot between challenging and overwhelming their teams to keep them motivated and energised for success. No matter where they are on their unique IHG career path.


In discussion with Dr Newton during our afternoon session, Chief Executive Officer of the Americas, Elie Maalouf revealed just how important he believes these coaching conversations can be:

“We are blessed with an exciting, aspirational, fun industry to begin with. One that creates lifelong experiences. Now, our duty as leaders – for me and everyone else in this session – is how do we show every one of our colleagues how their world is an important part of the journey. Retention starts with attention. We owe it to each other to have these difficult conversations.”

To discover a career in hospitality that enable, enriches and empowers you with Room to Belong, Grow and Make a Difference – why not take a closer look at our latest opportunities?

Let’s #GoFurtherTogether

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