Executive Presence : Assessment, Coaching, Training

Balancing Technical and People Skills for Leadership Credibility

Challenge
Nishit was a talented vice-president in a large, global engineering company. He had been selected to participate in the company’s high-potential leadership development program. All of his team members appreciated that he was willing to roll up his sleeves and get down in the trenches with them to share his expert domain knowledge. He was doing outstanding work, yet he never received the recognition he deserved. Senior management found that he lacked people skills and had not yet created a credible leadership style to get his ideas adopted especially with other lines of business. The HR wanted him to be coached for his ability to bridge his technical skills to people skills. They wanted a coach who was non-judgmental, open, supportive, and most importantly able to bring out the hidden strengths in Nishit.

Solution

Diagnosis: Coch Vikram had 3 rounds of discovery sessions with the leader and his stakeholders to evaluate the leader’s readiness and identify potential barriers to success. Guided by EPI- a proprietary research-based model of executive presence, Vikram measured the behaviours that would enable Nishit, the leader to engage, inspire, and move people to act.

Mindset Shift: The secret sauce in this coaching engagement was to make the leder realize that to become more successful in his current role, get promoted to a higher level in the organization, and expand his spheres of influence, the leader had to stop specific derailing leadership behaviors.

Behavioural Shift: Also, Coach Vikram noticed that Nishit’s dressing was very casual, his posture and eye contact did not convey confidence, and his voice lacked enthusiasm. In the first few discovery sessions, Vikram helped Nishit walk differently, hold himself confidently, and project a powerful dressing style. Nishit was still himself, yet he carried new strength. In the weeks to come, Coach Vikram helped him adjust his posture and voice. This improved the quality of his conversations and presentation skills with his peers. He mastered how to take up space with body language and also to fluctuate his voice with warmth and power. 

Result
While interacting with diverse stakeholders, a marked improvement was noticed in the leader’s level of engagement, responsiveness, and people skills. What followed in the coming 5 months was a high degree of self- motivation and ownership by Nishit to work toward version Nishit 2.0 He applied his learned leadership behaviors to influence diverse business situations with ease. He was supporting two geographically diverse teams who needed to be led through change, improve performance and accelerate execution of the strategy. This created a strong positive perception in the eyes of the management about Nishit’s leadership credibility. 11 months through the coaching journey, Nishit’s new found flair and finesse helped him get promoted as a group head.

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