How to get your boss onside Part 2: a true story…

You will recall from my last post that my client was attempting to persuade his CEO to invest in executive coaching. Let’s give them some names (changed obviously for the sake of confidentiality): Mark is my contact, the MD, and Jane is his CEO.

Mark’s starting point was Jane’s apparent inability to recognize both the benefits of leadership development per se and the need to take a strategic view of talent development given the company’s recent and projected high rate of growth.

The questions I asked him (see previous blog post below) helped him to widen his perspective on the situation. By standing back, so to speak, he began to see some patterns emerging. He reflected on how measurable outcomes and clarity of purpose are key drivers for Jane. He also wondered whether his own tendency to focus on relationships and longer-term team development might sometimes be misinterpreted as a lack of appreciation of the need to act decisively and manage the here and now.

At this stage Mark began to question whether his behaviour was as much a contributor to the deadlock as Jane’s. How could he change his communication style so that Jane would listen? He came up with a number of ideas including:

  • Specifying the key commercial outcomes that Executive Coaching would aim to deliver
  • Presenting the proposal as an innovative initiative which industry leaders are engaging with, and one which may attract recognition
  • Using fewer words and keeping to the point

However I sensed some remaining resistance from Mark. Something was preventing him from moving forward with these ideas. Where could I take this conversation?

Where would you have taken the conversation?

Do you want to know what happened next?

©Move Ahead Global 2011

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