Compassionate Coaching for Leaders Accused of Being Abrasive

Have you been accused of bullying employees and fear that your reputation and career are on the line? Has your abrasive communication style tainted people’s ability to see you as a trusted leader?

Are you going through a formal investigation for bullying? Has the HR department received more than one formal complaint about your behaviour or communication style? This can be a very painful experience for leaders, especially when they care so very deeply about the people they lead and business results.

When I work with clients who have been accused of bullying or displaying abrasive or aggressive behaviours, my first goal is to help them manage their anxiety and other strong emotions stemming from the shock and threat of being perceived in a poor light. We take an inventory together, look at the expectations before us, and devise a plan to manage perceptions and take a more empowered approach to demonstrating appropriate and effective leadership behaviours and practices.

Often clients feel deep shame, believing they have failed as leaders, and come to me in hope that I can fix them. Other clients sometimes feel unjustly criticized and misunderstood and might resist the request to change their ways. In either case, fixing is not part of my job description as a coach and not what I do. On the contrary, I greet all of my clients in the spirit of Namaste (the highest in me greets the highest in you) and view them as whole, creative and capable of turning these situations around gracefully and quickly without having to give up who they are.

One of the first areas we work on is restoring what matters most to the client as a leader. We uncover the triggers that led them to show up incongruent with their core values, then help re-anchor them to those values. We examine the circumstances, stresses and anxieties that may have contributed to losing site of effective leadership skills and guiding values. We explore the inner and outer world of the leader and design strategies to deal with structures, perceptions of others, and how to cope with anxiety and stress without becoming reactive. I engage my clients in a process of gaining awareness, unlearning ineffective coping skills, and relearning more empowering ways of relating to emotions and staying connected to their core guiding values during times of stress.

Clients quickly learn that it doesn’t matter whether the allegations are true or not. They learn that they don’t have control over the perceptions of others and how they are perceived, but that they do have control over how they respond to stress and perceived threats that trigger them. We go to work where the client has control, which is over themselves and by strategically changing the way they are perceived by others by getting them to notice the more empowered and effective ways the client begins to show up after coaching.

For more information about coaching and how leaders can quickly transform from being viewed as abrasive, abrupt or aggressive to being valued as thoughtful, empowering leaders, who are fully aligned with corporate values and culture, please give us a call or send us an email.