The current demands and expectations for an organisation
are to change with the trends if they have to compete. This means that
employees should be ready to adapt to different situations and responsibilities
that they are given. Although change programs may focus on providing
strategies, technologies, and trainings, these really are not enough. Changing
behaviour at the individual level becomes a very important part of the change
This article explores typical situations that you come
across, the challenges you face, and how these could be handled.
following situations –
1. You have been promoted to a new role, and given
additional responsibilities. You have all the good wishes of your well-wishers,
and you are confident to handle the role. You feel that you have the skills to
take this on. But when you actually start working in that role, you find managing
it, quite different than what you thought it would be, for instance, the people
do not respond to the way you thought they would, you are not able to convince
the management on some of the decisions you took, you suddenly feel more
‘negativity’ around whereas everything seemed to be going well earlier, etc.
So what has changed here? How would you deal with it
now? With whom do you discuss this?
2. You have tasted a lot of success in your organisation
having reached your targets, being able to drive your people effectively, being
able to convince the management of the decisions you take, etc. And then, you
decide to move on, and join a smaller-sized organization at very senior level
(say a CIO position). Since you performed so well in your past, you want to
take that confidence into this new role that you have now. You decide to use
similar strategies of dealing with people, and other success strategies that have
worked so well for you. However, you suddenly find that things are not working
the way you expected, for instance, there is lot of intervention from the company
promoters, the quality of the people is quite different, major attrition
issues, lot of conflicts between people, a few people find it hard to accept
you as their boss, etc.
You wonder how you handle this now, and you keep
3. You are well settled in your organisation for a fairly
long period, and completely tuned-in to the requirement and the culture of the
organisation. All seems to be going well, and then you find that your company
is taken over by another organisation. You now need to adjust to the new
organisation culture and people. You have that feeling of insecurity, you find
it difficult to handle the meetings, you feel that the environment is quite
different now, and have several challenges to cope with.
You want to get some help or speak with someone to
help you with these challenges.
4. You have been working as a successful executive in
senior roles in well established organisations. You decide to leave the current
organisation and start your own business. You have been doing all the planning
meticulously, and finally take the plunge. When you actually start working in
your business, you find that all is not going as per plan. You have to deal
with the monetary pressure, you need to look into every little aspect in the business,
a lot more interactions with people you hire is required, then there is the
family pressure, and many other ‘hidden’; challenges that you did not envisage
If you study the above situations, the one thing that
is common is that, although you have been successful till now, the change in
the role brings in different kind of challenges that you have to deal with, and
the success formula that got you here, doesn’t necessarily work in the new
role. So what has to change? Let us analyse this, and look at
ourselves more closely.
- Our Beliefs
impact our Potential, and our Potential gives rise to Actions which in turn,
produces the Results. Hence, our positive beliefs produce successful results and
this in turn, reinforces our beliefs to produce better results. From this, we
assume that so long as we continue to behave this way, we will continue to
experience success. So we say to ourselves “I am successful because I behave
this way”. We believe that our behaviour
is fine and does not require any change.
- We like to
hear what we want to hear, i.e. we tend to accept feedback from others that is
consistent with the way we see ourselves. We like to hear wonderful things
about ourselves and this reinforces our beliefs. But, we reject or deny
feedback from others that is inconsistent with what we think and feel. So our
self-image makes it very hard for us to accept the need for a change.
- We tend to
over-estimate the contribution to our projects. We like to credit ourselves
more than we actually deserve. This infact, can be a major obstacle when
behavioural change is required. Have we really analysed ourselves carefully on
- We like to
believe that our behavioural and managerial skills are sufficient to get us
through this new role. We might even have an elevated opinion of our skills as
compared to our peers. Hence, we are comfortable with the way we are managing
and do not believe that a change is required. This can, infact, go against us.
For instance, based on our past success, suddenly more responsibilities are
thrust on us expecting us to do the same, in the new role. Since we believe
that we can pull it off because of our past success, it is hard to say ‘No’. If
we are not careful, then this can actually pull us down very badly.
Handling the Change
happens without a readiness to change: An eminent change management expert once said “People don’t change a
minute before they are ready”. One cannot force people to change - one can only
help them if they want to. Hence, the desire, the motivation and the commitment
to make the change has to come from within us.
- Adapting to
the Environment: The
environment around us plays a crucial role for our success. This includes the
people we deal with, the policies, and our knowledge. Any new role brings in
change in our environment but the general tendency is to blame the environment
for our struggle. Hence, how we adapt to this environment, becomes a very
- Change in
Attitude and Behaviour: A lot of
importance is given to talent and ability in a person’s career and we feel that
without these, success cannot be achieved. However, having the right attitude and
behaviour are far more important than talent or ability, because beyond a
point, it is our attitude and behaviour that matters most. Talent breeds ego,
and it is this ego that can pull us down. When we let go of the ego, we are
open to better listening to others, open to more learning, accepting feedback
from others, and willing to change our behaviour.
- Changing Habits: It is important to replace old habits with new ones.
This is more easily said than done. A senior manager of a company once
mentioned to me that he had a big problem in managing his time at work. While
speaking to him, it became clear that he spent a lot of time writing long
emails to his subordinates and expected them to take action. The outcome was
that his subordinates soon started to ignore the emails or missed some of the
actions because of the length and the frequency of the emails, and so not all the
tasks would be completed. Apparently, previously this manager had handled not
more than 3 to 4 subordinates and this habit worked well for him at that time,
but now the team had increased to 7 people. The habit of writing long emails needed
to be changed. So, this habit was replaced by a 20 minute stand-up meeting
every morning with the team, where an action tracker was maintained. The impact
of this was, (i) it freed up his time to carry out other activities, (ii) subordinates were clear what was needed to be
done, and (iii) personal rapport with them increased, which overall increased
- Put them in Action: Make a list of the changes you wish to make, and
inform key people around you of your plans. Plan this out in such a way that you
work on just one behavioural change at a time. Get a frank feedback from them
at a periodic basis.
Coaching help you ?
Engaging a qualified coach, will you help in:
- Getting completely different perspectives from an
independent entity (the coach), i.e. deeper learning about yourself and how you
- Understanding your strengths and areas of improvement
based on inputs from your stakeholders that the coach would have obtained
- Getting the coach to lean on for emotional support,
empathy, and encouragement, and discuss in confidence
- Getting unstuck from your dilemmas and providing new
learning for yourself
- Identifying and implementing the areas of improvement
in a structured and systematic manner, and getting regular feedback from the
- Improving on specific skills such as
communication, delegation, conflict management, team building, persuasion, etc.
Delusion.......by Marshal Goldsmith
Sport.......by Marshal Goldsmith
12 Ways You
Just Might Benefit From Executive Coaching.........Jeff Giesea