It’s your fault!” said the executive to me with a big smile when he welcomed me to our next coaching meeting. 

My coaching engagement with him started with a question, “My new role requires me to collaborate more with others and I am not comfortable doing that. Can you help me?” 

As a Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered certified coach I suggested following this methodology. In it, the stakeholders of a leader play an essential role and it requires the leader to actively reach out to them. It is a collaborative coaching methodology that perfectly fits with leadership and collaboration challenges. 

Initially, he had some reservations with this process as it required him to step out of his comfort zone and adopt a more collaborative approach. However, he saw the benefits and agreed with the process, and so we began his coaching engagement. 

I interviewed my client and a number of his stakeholders to get a full 360 degree view. It painted a picture of a well respected executive, who was one of the brightest amongst his peers. Yet he showed a somewhat shy demeanour, he needed to speak up more in meetings instead of attending in silence and developing his strategies in isolation. 

Our coaching conversations were always very pleasant. In our one-on-one sessions he was not shy at all and showed a great sense of humour! Our conversations focused mostly on his behaviour in meetings and on working with his peers and stakeholders. At the end of each session we agreed on one or two actions he would perform during the time before our next meeting. These were actions with the intention to collaborate more proactively with his stakeholders and behave differently in meetings. 

As we progressed, he stepped out of his comfort zone more often, and tried the different behaviours and tactics that we’d discussed. He made great progress and the feedback from his stakeholders was very positive. 

It worked for him and then it was my “fault” that he was nominated for his next promotion. He was very happy with it and I happily took the blame! 

What’s holding you back?

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