06 May How to get your boss onside Part 3: a true story
So as you will recall Mark was nearly at the point where he felt confident to present a robust case for Executive coaching to Jane, his CEO. But I sensed resistance still. Mark needed no convincing that coaching was the way forward for him to consolidate his leadership skills because he had witnessed the positive impact of coaching on his team. He knew that it had the potential to release him from his ‘stuck’ feeling and rejuvenate his career. Here is how the conversation went:
- Mark, I am sensing there is still a part of you that believes you cannot convince Jane, even if you specify the likely commercial outcomes, sell the coaching programme as likely to attract recognition and use fewer words. Am I right?
- Yes, and I am not sure why.
- OK, what are you assuming that is preventing you from having this conversation with Jane?
- That she will only half listen and imply that there are more important priorities on her mind.
- I can see how that might worry you, but what are you assuming about that that is preventing you from having the conversation?
- I guess I am assuming that I will then start feeling that she is right and I am wrong, that there really is no business case to answer after all and that I will feel under pressure and not know what to say.
- What is your positive opposite of this assumption Mark?
- That I am right, that the coaching has a good possibility of making a commercial difference and that I can be upwardly influential when I need to be.
- If you knew that you were right, that the coaching has a good possibility of making a commercial difference and that you can be upwardly influential when you need to be, what would your next steps be?
- I would schedule a meeting with Jane and mentally rehearse its outcome. Yes, that’s it.
Are you able to get a mental picture of what happened to the energy in the room during this conversation?
What are you assuming that is preventing you from solving a problem or achieving a goal?
Do you want to know what happened next?
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