1. Coaching Context
1.1 Identifying Information
Andy (named changed for confidentiality of identity ) is an 33 years old is an Anglo Indian male, an engineering and management graduate from premier institutions, working for Information Technology Consulting company (among top 4 in the world) in Bangalore India, have 11 years of experience, living in an apartment with one roommate.
Three years in the job with this consulting company, which offers highly competitive job environment, Andy developed depression and anxiety, often picks up fights with colleagues, not in good terms with seniors and also has an image of ‘angry man’ among junior colleges. He was emotionally down with sadness, anxiety, guilt, and feels hopelessness and loneliness. In addition to this, he was often noticed as pessimistic, difficulty in making decisions, and during interactions with colleagues it was observed that he has habit of self-criticism. With such condition in office, Andy has expressed his loss of energy, a time crying when alone in his apartment, inability to relax and also complains of disturbed sleep.
1.3 An Outcome Expected
Balance anxiety, loneliness and become cooperative with colleagues, drive with fresh ideas in decision making to evoke ideas and input from others. If he can manage to relax and sleep well will be added as bonus in coaching.
1.4 Solution Highlights
- Exploring feelings & emotions
- Create a conducive environment to receive the support, cooperation with and from colleagues for encouragement and accountability - Andy needed to make changes he wanted and
- Create a structure and support to ensure he stick to new habits!
1.5 Result Highlights
- A follow-up 360 review after 8 sessions of coaching provided positive feedback that Andy was much more cooperative at work with colleagues, and share working input and ideas.
- Andy is able to relax and enjoy the work and finds full of friends at work place. He's able to request support, and is more relaxed and finds ease at taking decisions and full of praises for himself.
- He has identified several reliable techniques to reduce his anxiety level in crucial situations.
1.6 Foundation and Agreement
The coaching journey started at the end of my consulting assignment at Andy’s organization. The human resource head approached me and requested me to coach Andy. I agreed and meeting were held between me as coach, the supervisor of Andy, HR head to set goals for coaching and determine before the start – what would form a successful coaching engagement? On my request, HR head provided me work environment over last six month, Andy colleagues’ short description with whom Andy works, Andy’s job description and key performance indicator of his role, and his competencies with level of proficiency for each of these competencies. I had another meeting with Andy’s department head and agreed on an couple of the activities
- Interview with Andy’s supervisor, his peers and some of his direct reporters
- Chemistry meeting with Andy.
After this meeting, a joint meeting was held between Andy, his supervisor, department head, HR head and I – to agree upon the coaching relationship. This was also meeting to assure my commitment to discuss the importance of confidentiality in the coaching relationship and assurance to Andy that information shared between coach and Andy will remain private. I signed a confidentiality agreement. The stakeholders – supervisor, department head, HR head agreed to receive only information that will be drafted and finalize by Andy for the reporting purpose. The agreement established expectations, timelines, ground rules and alignment to clear guidelines for all parties involved along with organizational goals and objectives of this coaching assignment. ICF competencies observed:
- Establishing coaching agreement
- Coaching presence
As we continued our one-to-one conversation after agreement, Andy started pouring out his concerns about the growth opportunities presented by his current role in the organization. Andy narrated his story as follow Monica hires Andy, a techno-managerial consultant, who is a specialist in this new technology to lead this department. Andy is given an objective of making business of 40M US$ with a team strength of 120+ strong technical functional consultants and a 38% profit margin. Andy sees this as a big opportunity for him to grow in the organization and puts in lot of effort and was able to win business from 3 customers in APAC, 1 in UK and also a new customer WATER INC based in USA that generates 50% of newly established technology consulting department. Andy was able to use his old business contact from his previous organizations in making a sales pitch in Water Inc. One of the program directors of Water Inc Chung Lum who has very good relationship with Andy, was able to influence his other directors in awarding the project to Andy’s organization. over the incumbent. The new projects for Water Inc. begin to produce good results under the leadership of Andy. Andy who is having a role of customer engagement manager, generating new business, solutioning and also the program director is on travel most of the time. Monica realizes that Andy is burdened with too much of work and brings in Sudhir Juneza to take up the project management responsibilities. Sudhir has a very good working relationship with Monica in his earlier project and although he does not have any technical and consulting expertise in this new technology, he was able to get this role. Monica convinces Andy the need for Sudhir in the department and makes Sudhir have a dotted line reporting to Andy. Andy although convinced on the need for Sudhir but not comfortable on the reporting structure imposed by Monica. Soon problems begin to surface because of Sudhir’s inexperience with new technology:
- Key team leads started leaving organization and others feel their learning is jeopardizing because of the mis-direction from Sudhir.
- In some of the customer meetings, Sudhir’s inexperience with the new technology comes into the forefront and is escalated to the senior management.
- With such issues in hand, Sudhir feels that he has not given adequate time to scale-up on the new technology and also feels that Andy is not cooperating with him.
The senior management puts pressure on Monica to handle the situation. Since Sudhir is her appointee, Monica feels she cannot move him out and instead decides to bring in Raghav Rathore a peer of Sudhir to work along with him. With another change in the organization and addition of another Monica’s supportive person in the department few other issues have been cropped- in:
- Andy feels de-motivated with Sudhir and Raghav coming in as support roles and overall control of the new technology group has been diluted
- The new technology department staff suspects that Monica feels threatened by Andy’s rapid growth and this could be a game plan to hold him still. They feel insecure since Monica and Andy internal conflict can cause their new technology learning and possibility has increased of not getting new projects.
Andy till now a successful techno-consultant feels stressed, stuck, demotivated, thinking the current political and organizational change will be leading to the failure of the new technology department setup and his career will be ruined. The case was clear challenge of organizational structure and behavioral patterns in the context of PERSONALITY, PERCEPTION AND MOTIVATION. These all has made Andy to feel unsafe, fearful, lot trusting others, and made him feel hopelessness and loneliness.
1.8 Commitment and Accountability
With the story of Andy, I had become doubly enthusiastically to support and practice “everyone has point of view” and positive coaching is the only way to support the development of Andy. As I begin this coaching engagement with Andy, I have committed to not become his advisor, rather work him to design a set of objectives that will enable him to achieve his goals. In this way, as I write, he decided to find out another job and being committed to supporting his objective, I let him explore the new job opportunity. As mentioned earlier, I had never let any other influence to come in way to let get out any information that we exchange during our coaching sessions “strict confidentiality”. The journey of coaching was Andy, and the options and actions design was always the choice of Andy, and had never let the accountability sleep, even there way many times, I felt to act any modify the actions. To give his support to create better actions, I used few metaphors and let it him decide the way forward. With this in context, the actions were designed and had to be followed within the timeframe. Andy had committed to follow to its design and report as agreed in each session.