Research Paper By Omprakash Padmanabharaju
(Leadership and Sales Training, INDIA)
Many people see discipline as the absence of freedom, when in fact it is the source of freedom.
No stream or gas ever drives anything until it is confined. No Niagara is ever turned into light and power until it is tunneled. No life ever grows until it is focused, dedicated, disciplined. – Harry Emerson Fosdick
SirRabindranath Tagore, Nobel Prize-winning poet, once said, “I have on my table a violin string. It is free. But it not free to do what a violin string is supposed to do – to produce music. So I take it, fix it in my violin and tighten it until it is taut. Only then it is free to be a violin string.” By the same token we are free when our lives are uncommitted, but not to be what we were intended to be. Real freedom is not freedom from, but freedom for.
– Robert W. Youngs, Renewing your faith day by day
The case study is about a working professional (subject) who is in the corporate world for over 15 years. His growth came with determination, hard work, and clear focus on his ambition to work in the area of human resource and deepen his specialization as a human resource professional.
He seemed to have developed a discipline with respect to time, values, outcomes linked to organizations objective and a similar discipline in his personal life.
He has pushed himself out of his comfort zone at times for career reasons and has proved that constraints need not limit his ability to achieve goals. In short, he seemed to have found a good formula of work life balance.
He was a high performer and well respected team player in the organisation. He was in the role as a HR generalist for a couple of years now and work had reached a stagnant state. He was offered a role in training, however had to relocate to a new city.
He took the leap to take on the new role in a new city and yet again pushed himself out of his comfort zone. Having spent 8 months in his new role, he was not completely satisfied with his work and was not sure what the issue was.
He was introduced to me by a common friend and wanted to be coached. Described next is the sequence of events as an outcome of coaching session.
The meeting was over the telephone. The subject came across to be intellectual and had previous knowledge of coaching. He seemed extremely passionate being a client and has come prepared. After patiently listening to my explanation about the methodology and the approach, he had one apprehension! He was worried that I would be judgmental based on the fact that we had a common friend and if he had influenced any of his thoughts about him.
I took the opportunity to thank him for bringing out his concern, and explained the ICF code of ethics. After listening, he was extremely excited and felt more confident about the process. We agreed to have the first formal session after a week.
Goals/ Key expectations from the Coaching Partnership
Nature of Current Role involved drawing and implementing a range of learning Interventions to aid the organization reach its Goals. While conducting various Jobs as part of the above role, effective communication was a key success factor.
The role involves multiple touch points with members of Senior Management. Being able to translate Top and Senior Management expectations into meaningful interventions involves handling formal and informal communication channels.
Following are adjectives that best describe the subject at Work.
The subject’s goal was to make significant impact in adapting to the role and enhance equity for the L&D in the organization
Session 1: Handling Communication with Senior Management
Session 2: Communicating sensitive at times conflicting views expressed by Senior Management
Session 3: Being able to communicate objectively
Session 4: Handling communications in informal and formal set ups
Session 5: Communicate assertively & setting right expectations
The Coaching Process and competencies
The entire process spanned across 5 sessions over 2 months. The tools that I used was acknowledgment, Powerful listening (body, mind and gut) was powerful questioning (Open yet challenging), paraphrasing to clarify, developing insights during every session and being curious and celebrating every win of the subject.
After the chemistry session, an instant mutual trust and respect had sparked. It was essential for me to keep that and build greater confidence about the coaching process in the subject. Some of the characteristic that came out very strong as a coach was.
- Being authentic ( here and now)
- Being patient ( gave complete hearing at all times)
- Emotionally engaged with the subject
- Respecting his point of view and actions that was taken
- Had the courage to push and challenge at times when needed to get to the crux of the matter
- Acknowledged and celebrated moments that was worth cherishing
Some powerful tools that I used during the session as was:
- Visualization – by using visualization the subject was able to see different outcomes. There was an immediate breakthrough that the subject got, which never occurred in the past.
- Perceptual Position- The subject had a conflict with 2 people leading to a difference of opinion. By putting himself from the other 2 peoples point of view and he was able to clearly identify the cause and solution.
- Reframing Perspective- Couple of times I had used many power tools to reframe the subject’s perspective that took him to greater awareness and therefore leading towards a positive outcome. Apart from removing the blocks and negative perspectives, the client was able to see positive perspectives.