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Executive Coaching in India- lets make it a larger movement

Source | LinkedIn : By Cherian Kuruvila

Over the last few years as Business and Leadership Coaches, we realized that in India the whole concept of Coaching as a strong leadership and self development tool has not yet emerged as a natural approach. And possibly still carries a stigma and doubt in the minds of the potential individuals – am I quite not up there yet?

Recently 2 leaders from diverse industries, roles and locations reached out directly to me here to understand about coaching and how it works. And what was pleasant was that they wanted to do so and pay on their own and use this as a developmental tool to confront their “barriers to growth” as professionals and as individuals. One has already started the journey and nice to hear his words – ” I felt a great amount of comfort even though it was our 1st session. I liked the analogies/examples that you gave from your other coachees, it gave me some idea about how things could pan out.I also loved the holistic approach, the holistic health checklist gave a good picture of where the imbalance exists. I am feeling excited about this process and look forward to this journey with you.”

A typical response we come across when Management or HR shortlists leaders for Coaching is “why ME? “ And the disturbing thoughts fleet through some minds – Something wrong with me? Am I on the watch list? Why have only a few of us been chosen? Is there a hidden management agenda? I have been there done that, so what is a Coach going to do? Why do I need to open up and reveal my weaknesses and insecurities to a stranger?

It is only when one explains what Coaching is all about, the process of self reflection, self awareness build up, 360 feedforward, building on one’s strengths and fine tuning the development areas and the role a Coach plays that they realize that it does not carry any negative connotation. Examples of Roger Federer or Sachin or the top sports teams and athletes having Coaches settle the issue once and for all 🙂

In an interview with Fortune some years ago, Google CEO Eric Schmidt had this to say about coaching and everybody’s need for a coach:

“Every famous athlete, every famous performer has somebody who’s a coach. Somebody who can watch what they’re doing and say, “Is that what you really meant? Did you really do that?” They can give them perspective. The one thing people are never good at is seeing themselves as others see them. A coach really, really helps.”

Our experiences with over 40 Coachees across industries and across levels from CEO, Board members to mid level managers, team leaders, business owners etc have shown what a powerful tool this can be.

And how using a structured Coaching approach of questioning, challenging  and patient listening can help the Coachee reflect, become more self aware, help narrow down and define the Goals that are most important to them professionally and personally and work on them step by step.

We have had a number of interesting case studies from our Business or Leadership Coaching approaches – individuals who were not interested at first or who do not realize they need coaching. Sharing some interesting feedback snippets from them after a few eye opening sessions just to give a flavor of the impacts they felt along the way.

From a 50 + senior leader who initially felt it was too late to change and felt Coaching was nice but not for people like him. “Though initially I was apprehensive at the time of Introduction to Coaching, my Management’s faith in me dissolved all my inhibitions. Starting from Session 1, I have been able to delve deep and share all my experiences, fears and joy with my coach effortlessly. Personally, keeping in mind the 360 feed-backI tried things which I would normally not bother about.

From a woman founder CEO of a firm – “Yes, the coaching journey has been amazing so far and an eye opener. I am glad that I took it up and I’m now enjoying and looking forward to the sessions! Since I started this journey there has been something to take back home every week, some change that I could notice in myself, growth at every opportunity and I am happy about it “

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