Alaan was promoted to Vice President four years ago following the successful integrating of a new work process in the firm. As a subject-matter-expert, the new role was demanding, requiring Alaan to visit numerous sites and oversee the maintenance of the new processes working with different teams at various locations.
Alaan had always believed that it was important to separate home line from work life. With the exception of peers, Alaan would participate in conversations initiated by others that exposed their activities outside of work, but never offered or initiated a conversation that revealed anything personal more than the names of family and data that was easily accessible. Outgoing with a unique sense of humor at home, Alaan rarely revealed this playful, fun side at work.
Alaan’s peers were receiving financial rewards for their ability to maintain and build teams, to mentor others and to create a caring working relationship. Alaan had to accept that the responsibilities of a VP were much less on the doing aspect of the work, and much more on the importance of inspiring others to see the value in performing the task well. To move to the next level as an EVP, Alaan would need to more closely embrace the company’s culture of caring and connection, exhibiting values that aligned with the corporate mission and vision.
Coaching enabled Alaan to better understand the need to connect with others, to build trusting relationships and to admit to being vulnerable, to not always having the right answer.
Our first assignment was to help Alaan understand what worked in the past and what was not working now. By revising habits and past practices, Alaan had the opportunity to choose what needed to change and what could be expanded to take action towards achieving a new spectrum of goals.
Alaan must be able to engage peers and team members openly, exposing areas of vulnerability as well as expertise. Dr. Maddalena encouraged Alaan to speak informally with employees on all levels, creating trust by sharing personal stories that reveal Alaan’s values and perspective.
Alaan will benefit from examining the existing cultural norms as well as individual and team actions affecting the “big picture” image of each division as well as the company as a whole. Rather than avoiding open interaction with individuals, showing empathy by engaging and caring for another person builds a bond of trust.
Studies repeatedly indicate that organizations that show caring and respect for employees benefit from greater productivity, reduced turnover and higher commitment to quality. To function as a high level thought-leader for the organization, Alaan would benefit from obtaining a higher level of emotional intelligence that would lead to better interpersonal relationships, professional relationships and executive presence. As a respected leader with a following, Alaan would be able to :
- Identify new approaches to meet division project standards by forming strong working relationships with all teams.
- Provide mentoring to improve the performance of team members.
- Work with on-site leaders to conduct interventions and a group workshop to address any existing or potential personnel conflicts.
- Inspire followers to understand changing goals, to contribute to on-going change and to find value in their contribution to team success. Everyone Alaan supports will be ready to support Alaan, building a legacy of respect and support within the organization..
Alaan’s efforts to engage team members and team at all sites, both in informal discussion as well as structured meetings, will create an environment opening new options that ensure the team’s continued growth and success.In addition, .
Continued enthusiasm and commitment to their team set a new standard within the division and the sites visited by Alaan, enabling greater rapport with other leaders at each site.
As the general attitude recognized the successes, individuals were recognized, and teams celebrated their achievements. Other teams began to emulate some of the practices used by this team. Upper level leaders noted the changed attitudes, commenting how teams emulated Alaan’s open style of discussion. Scheduled meetings gained new commitment and respect and were more rewarding with livelier discussions
Leaders are role models and mentors. Breaking old habits by focusing on inspiring others to perform the tasks is an essential element of leadership.
Understanding the strategic purpose behind team building: helping someone to excel prepares them to assume greater responsibility; as they move up Alaan will succeed and advance in the company
Avoid complacency by maintaining accountability and shared acceptance of responsibility. Every discussion holds value. Setting parameters for a consistent process allows members to work on the “what” we must accomplish rather than repeatedly recreating “how” we will accomplish the task.
Teams that embrace social as well as personal empathy, that can permit personal vulnerability and inspire concepts beyond the norm, are prepared to encourage greater diversity and inclusion in its members. These changes result in an improved team outcome.
A culture that strives for high productivity requires respect for basic communication and negotiation practices, the acceptance of different opinions, and commitment to remain on task.