Research Paper By Cheria Subash
(Life/Executive Coaching, INDIA)
Success in corporate life is at times attributed to factors, such as luck, right time/place, godfather, etc. Very often high potential managers are unable to perform at the peak, for various reasons. The numerous roles he plays complicate life. Training often does not bring out these issues and address them holistically. As evident in this case, the coaching process takes a holistic view and enables the customer, through his own goal, reality check, identifying options and deciding the way forward, and reach higher levels of professional excellence and a work-life balance.
Ahmed (name changed) was a young banker, working with a leading retail bank. He was born in a small town. He has retained the rustic charm of a ‘bedouin’ and has always been religiously conservative. He joined the bank 11 years ago, after his degree at a local college/university. From a clerical staff at a branch, he has grown into a role of a senior manager at the middle level management of the bank. As a senior banker, he is passionate at work, results-driven and very aggressive (had a reputation of being a ‘bulldozer’ among peers & boss). His communication and presentation skills were woefully inadequate for a senior banker. He was not popular among his colleagues, peers, subordinates and others in department.
One of the younger members of his large family, he was a pampered child, and hence assertive at home, respected his father immensely and was very attached to his ailing mother.
Currently working as head of underwriting of retail loans. An important middle-level management function at the bank, which depends on retail loans for over 60% of top-line & bottom line.
A new senior manager, at the same level in the organization structure, as Ahmed, joined the bank, who became the coach of Ahmed, with the coaching relationship spread over years…
Phase 1: Chemistry Period
Their roles at work introduced them on either side of a table – with potential conflict of interests, quality vs quantity, top life vs bottom line, market share vs portfolio quality, etc.
They reported to a common boss, who knew the strengths of both his key players and also knew how to play an effective referee, always looking at bank’s interests and clearly communicating it.
The relationship with Ahmed & Coach moved from passive transactions to more meaningful interactions. Building trust was the result of the interactions.
When you have someone’s trust, he opens out his heart,
which started happening with Ahmed.
The relationship between Ahmed and Coach evolved. Ahmed had whole lot of personal and professional problems. He attributed external causes for all of them. And he wanted someone to share, discuss and talk to, most importantly. Someone whom he could trust and would not be judgmental. Active listening was followed by Coach and he found new facets of an interesting personality of Ahmed
This phase saw developments both on personal and professional front.
- Ahmed was married and had three children. Was living with his parents & the joint family thereof. His mother was seriously ill. That was a big emotional drain on him. There were several stressful points at home too.
- He was elevated as head of one of the loan products. From under-writing to a business role, with P & L, he had arrived in life. Now he was genuinely part of the bank’s core management team. He strongly felt that was where he truly belonged.
- As he was in the process of settling down in the new role when his mother died. In a few weeks, his eldest son was down with a serious, life-threatening stomach problem.
- These were showing on his health too. He was a smoker and bad at eating & sleeping habits. He was not on any fitness regime either.