In spite of his astute intelligence and 23 years of leadership experience, Shishir was never considered to be an influential leader. Nobody wanted to be a part of his projects and he was considered to be a bad boss who sapped motivation, killed ideas, and made one want to run from the job! During meetings, he would cut someone off for “dumb” ideas. As a result his team learnt to keep quiet and let the boss set the course. The organization found that despite his stellar reputation of having amazing technical capabilities, he didn’t have the persuasion and influence skills required to lead a positive team. In fact, the organization realised that in spite of his strong technical leader his specific leadership obstacles would derail his career growth. And for this the client organization was looking for a coaching engagement that included a deep assessment of the leader and create a strong approach that is grounded in data and integrates the needs of key stakeholders into the process,
Diagnosis: During the alignment conversation with the 4 key required stakeholders, Coach Vikram observed that Shishir gave the impression of being an attention seeker which negatively affected how other stakeholders perceived him. At the onset of the coaching journey, we deployed the CoachVikram’s EPI assessment- a tool to gather actionable data on the leader’s gaps to make an impact, and be more influential. In the assessment, Shishir did not show a lot of interest in the opinions of others. Deficiency of this particular behaviour was preventing him from building long-term relationships. Because of this he missed the opportunity to gain a competitive edge by developing his most important asset — his relationships with his team.
Mindset Shift: Coach Vikram provided Shishir with breakthrough insights into how to break his habits of narcissism while interacting with people and how to develop empathetic listening skills. The leader realized that when he does not show much interest toward what others think, feel, or experience, or expand the other person’s point of view, he was coming across as arrogant or insensitive. Very soon Shishir had a shift in his mindset that the more he shows interest in his team, the more he will end up having deeper relationships with them.
Behavioural Shift: As the coaching progressed, Shishir had a step-by-step plan on how to enhance his self-awareness, increase his likeability quotient, and positively influence his first impression among his stakeholders. In just 3 months, Shishir learned to mindfully let go of his derailing interpersonal skills, and also intentionally practiced around the 3 critical traits of relationship building- interest, listening, and commonality. He started daily, doing one small action at a personal level that could strengthen his relationship with his team, boss, and other stakeholders. He started asking more questions with genuine curiosity to expand and explore the other person’s point of view. In the second half of the coaching journey, the leader underwent lots of method acting coaching activities that are grounded in real-time, on the job action. These helped the leader discover what drove and excited him at work and how to really tap into those strengths. With ongoing feedback and course correction here we reinforced the client’s top 3 coaching goals.
After 6 months of coaching, there was an atmosphere of likeability and support from his team that helped Shishir see a better way to lead that was effortless yet very productive. He could mindfully raise his likability quotient to connect authentically with anyone, anytime, anywhere.
All of this also resonated with his organization’s values. 9 months through the coaching process, Shishir successfully achieved his agreed upon positive results in behaviours and was all set to perform in larger, rapidly-changing roles in a globalised world.