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Case Study: Exploring Coaching Options

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Manoel also has a high need for Affiliation. He desires harmonious relationships with others and needs to feel accepted by people. People with high need for Affiliation perform best when there is client interaction, when they can share their views and hear the opinions of others.

With these three data points, Manoel is faced with a dilemma at the European office. Verbatim data from the LVI 360 infer that Manoel’s team has low Inclusion and low Affiliation scores, and resist high need for control. This doesn’t fuel Manoel’s vitality and he will perhaps appear desperate if he tries to seek out Inclusion, Control and Affection to satisfy his needs.

COACHING CHALLENGE

While each of these four assessments in their own right, provide insight into leadership behavior, the coach’s job is to identify the intersections and similarities that will affirm and deepen understanding of leadership behaviors.

In addition to the above assessments, I also assigned the following coaching activities experienced in the Oxford Leadership COMPASS model:

  • Manoel would develop his leadership timeline identifying successes and failures in his background and look for patterns in his performance;
  • He would create an internal compass in better understanding his life’s purpose, his values and his vision; and,
  • He would identify social, political and technical barriers facing him as he made critical choices and decisions facing his future.

Not only did these additional coaching assignments add depth, breadth and reality to our coaching conversations, they prepared him to manage a world of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA).

 While Manoel was processing the data from the assessments, the challenge was to develop a long-term behavioral development plan. The plan should be based on identifying and overcoming his blind spots found during the assessment phase, leveraging the strengths that Manoel brings and addressing some of his career derailers.

The first insight he gained was that people were invested in his success. They provided him with feedback via both quantitative and verbatim data. Whether in an Anglo-Saxon, North American or Latin culture, coaching etiquette now requires him to send a thank you note to each of his respondents. As his coach, I provided Manoel with appropriate language to consider and advised that he highlight one to two areas he will focus on developing. While it was delicate and emotionally challenging to thank people, who had just delivered uncomfortable feedback, this gesture builds leadership muscle and demonstrates maturity and appreciation.

THE LEARNING CHALLENGE

Climbing the learning curve quickly is essential to successful leadership integration. This includes understanding both the formal and the informal structure of the enterprise. Manoel needed to learn who were the influencers on his team and at the headquarters site. He needed to understand how decisions were made.

He had not considered that meetings at headquarters required negotiations to take place beforehand, and in private. As a new member of staff, Manoel had to check these aspects of company culture. Leaders have to get it quickly, learn to read the dynamics of the organization and then adapt. Even departments within a company have sub-cultures: different politics, different networks that Manoel had to manage.

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