Executive Coaching -- Getting Past Resistance to the New Kid on the Block

Note: Key identity descriptors have been changed to protect client confidentiality.

Coached a recently-hired, entrepreneurial VP who found key people avoiding him and shooting down his ideas (including the CEO, the Board, the VP’s peers, and his direct reports). After coaching, these same key people said that the VP became a successful, innovative manager who stopped creating resistance in his wake. 

Throughout this VP’s career, he had achieved results by finding a market opening and making a fast break to fill it.  He used “push” management.  The CEO originally hired my client because he wanted to “shake things up.”  But he also put a high priority on creating a team-based organization.  People complained to the CEO that the new VP was “heavy-handed.”  The new VP was confused at what he saw as “mixed signals.” (Shake up organizational complacency but don’t ruffle any feathers in the process.) 

Coached the VP to look for recurring patterns in his relationships with his boss, peers and direct reports.  Upon reflection, he came to recognize a pattern of “pursuit and avoidance.” The more he pushed his peers and direct reports, the more they avoided or resisted him.  Provided coaching and action learning assignments in how to make others feel heard, build collaboration, and create “pull,” instead of defaulting to “push.”


Copyright © 2001 Toni R. Hupp