Case study

Developing Real Relationships With A UK Private Bank


Our client, a prestigious UK private bank has a rich and diverse history, dating back over 300 years.

Previous leadership development activity had been successful in giving senior leaders a theoretical understanding and knowledge of methodologies for implementing change. Now the need was to convert this into confident and inspirational leadership on the ground. Extensive research identified clear development needs for the bank’s leaders including:

  • strategy-critical focus.
  • adapting to a fast-changing, dynamic environment.
  • getting more out of people in mission-critical roles.
  • building the next generation of cultural leaders.
  • clear purpose in line with the bank’s refreshed values.

The solution was an integrated approach with a focus on intelligent relationships. This was also a key plank in the business strategy around engaging its customers.


Our client took a pioneering approach by engaging YSC Consulting as a thought leader in the psychology of relationships.

The initial program – with a core focus on managing and improving the quality of connection and communication with what is important to people – succeeded in prompting personal change for those participants who took part in the pilot.

Based on the pilot, we designed three one-day workshops for global roll-out with 209 senior leaders.  This also included a three-monthly follow-up to track personal change.

Each workshop was bespoke and based on an eclectic mix of cutting-edge research. YSC and the client’s Head of Leadership & Talent worked in genuine partnership throughout, sharing ideas and co-creating the content to meet the needs of the audience.

The key factor underpinning the program was building more confident leadership through better quality relationships – with self, colleagues, clients and the organization.

The focus was on replacing ingrained patterns of belief and habit with new, unfamiliar ways of being. YSC developed a completely tailored approach for the bank with an emphasis on softer, more subtle and sophisticated ways of helping people lead through challenging times in order to combat their own and others’ fatigue around change.

A big focus was on the psychology of communication: what attracts people to listen and what keeps them listening? A common theme throughout the program was around helping people deepen a sense of connection in their relationships through the quality of their interactions to enable them to really speak the truth.


The success of the project has seen a culture shift which has confident leadership and honest conversations at its core. Sometimes people struggled to articulate the positive rather than the negative, and some had difficulties speaking so frankly in front of colleagues, but feedback overall was positive with delegate comments that included:

“Great workshop, with real long term development ideas as well as some quick wins on improving my communication.”

“ I feel able to resolve issues quicker and more satisfactorily for all parties concerned.”

“I am going away with plenty of ideas and a clear case for putting them into action.”

“A really useful course for people who are future leaders of the business.”

“Confident leadership requires the ability to have open and adult conversations – based on mutual trust and respect. The program that we partnered on with YSC certainly stretched us, especially at the buy-in stage. But early indications suggest we’re starting to see changes in the way our leaders interact, both with one another and more widely across our business.”

Head of Leadership & Talent