A case study in Bangalore India
Ravi was the founder and CEO of a medium-sized company with 500 employees in Bangalore. He built this company from scratch and was very passionate about the new business domain and market he was creating. He was keen on changing the complete market landscape in India in this domain. His goals were rapid growth while ensuring better treatment and compensation for the workers in the industry. Because of this, it was not surprising that he was well-liked by his employees.
Inevitably, the time came when Ravi needed additional funding to further the fast paced growth of the company. With his excellent business model, his proven track record and in addition, his obvious passion for the business, it was relatively easy for him to convince the investors.
However, once the deal was concluded and the new directors were installed on the board, it didn’t take long for serious issues to manifest themselves.
Ravi was used to making all the decisions intuitively, guided by his passion, and he felt that this had been a major factor in his success. He felt the investment company did not really understand his business and any contributions by their directors could not add any value to HIS business.
The stated coaching objective was to mediate the dispute between Ravi and the various directors on the board. Ravi had been in conflict with them quite frequently to the point where the board members felt they were all wasting valuable time and energy on unproductive discussions.
We started the coaching process with 360° feedback. Our highly effective coaching tool and of course his coach's input made Ravi realize that the other board members respected his knowledge and experience, as well as his courage and visionary leadership.
However, it also helped him understand how much his intransigence was detracting from the respect everyone felt for him – at all levels of the hierarchy.
As part of our coaching process, his coach dived deeper into Ravi’s life’s history investigating the cause of his behavior. His coach discovered that people of authority had often let Ravi down in his past, mainly due to bad counsel. This embedded a natural distrust against authoritative persons in Ravi’s subconscious which now presented itself in his reaction towards the new directors.
With that insight into his history, the current cause of Ravi’s problems became clear to his coach. Ravi had learned to follow his own counsel and intuition. After a few counseling sessions of mediation,He realized why he felt this way and opened up to listening to his peers.
Increasing self awareness
Thanks to our executive coaching process, Ravi became aware of how negatively he reacted to authority figures and how his subconscious inclination had led him to place the other directors into that same category, even though they were his peers now.
Understanding and accepting the challenges
Due to our executive coaching process, Ravi not only started listening to the other directors. He realized that he could benefit from the new perspectives that were offered. This, of course, didn’t mean that he had to agree with them every time and it certainly didn’t mean that he had to just do whatever they said.
Having recognized and overcome his negative inclination against authoritative figures thanks to our coaching process, meant that now Ravi listened to the other directors carefully. He weighed their opinion seriously and finally also learned to think about his own point of view more carefully, so he could dismiss or defend it.
Falling back on strengths
Patience and inclusiveness were amongst Ravi’s strengths, as well as his ability to hold a vision and engage others to work towards it with him. These strengths were very useful in building the new kind of listening and communication skills that Ravi now needed to have more fruitful discussions with the board members.
From confrontational to productive meetings
Part of executive coaching sessions with Ravi included the art of positive communication. Before realizing and conquering his subconscious problems, this would not have been possible. But now, his coach was able to show Ravi a very important communication skill, that of dismissing a suggestion without offending. While before he was inclined to “brush” suggestions by the other directors off the table, he now was able to discuss and argue against them if he did not agree in a pleasant manner and with constructive counter-arguments.