Breakthrough Coaching for Abrasive Leaders

If Abrasive Leaders changed their behaviors, how much more successful would the organization be?

Do you have any Abrasive Leaders in your organization?

Abrasive Leaders words and actions create friction – causing emotional distress, alienating co-workers, and disrupting organizational performance.  Their repeated abuse creates a psychological power imbalance so that their targets are unable to protect themselves.  Both the targets, and witnesses to the abrasive behavior, perceive the Abrasive Leader’s behavior as hurtful, harmful, disrespectful, and it is often long-felt.

Abrasive behavior is learned – and to unlearn such behavior Abrasive Leaders need to be helped to:

  • See their specific abrasive behavior, gain insight into the cause of their abrasive behavior, and understand its negative impact;
  • Care enough to be committed to change their behavior;
  • Learn alternative/replacement behaviors;
  • Sustain their behavior change.

Who is This Program For?

This program is specifically for Abrasive Leaders.  They wreak havoc in the workplace. Even if they are technically competent and inspirational, their abrasive behaviors tend to alienate coworkers, cause good employees to flee, and ultimately reduce the productivity and effectiveness of their team – negatively impacting corporate profitability.

Abrasive Leaders tend to:

  1. Dominate
  2. Intimidate
  3. Over-react
  4. Over-control
  5. Use threats
  6. Publicly humiliate
  7. Generally treat others in condescending and disrespectful ways.

Their conduct overshadows their talents, diminishes their results, and negatively impacts the organization. 

Can you afford to have any Abrasive Leaders in your organization?

This is what the Abrasive Leader Program Accomplishes:

This practical program socializes the Abrasive Leader so that people stop fleeing from the Abrasive Leader – and the organization.  

This socialization is accomplished via special one-on-one coaching in which the Abrasive Leader learns, specifically, how they are perceived (which usually contradicts their own self-image and own perceived reputation) which motivates them to gain insight as to why they behave the way they do, and then learns, practices, and tests new modes of interacting.

Special coaching for Abrasive Leaders proves beneficial for the leader, for their co-workers (up, across, and down) in terms of their morale and productivity, and for the organization in terms of the bottom line.

By the end of the program the Abrasive Leader is approachable and considered a valued leader and team player.  Since there is now harmony in the environment people are able to focus on their business goals.

Why is This Program Special?

  1. The program focuses on the specific behavior(s) which need to be changed -and in so doing bridges the gap between the Abrasive Leader’s own perception (tough) and the perception of others (mean, hurtful, not respectful.)
  2. The detailed, compelling feedback allows the Abrasive Leader to become aware of the impact of their behavior on others which then motivates them to change their behavior(s).
  3. The rapid, deepening, and sustained rapport between the coach and the client enables the Abrasive Leader to comfortably gain insights around the drivers of the dysfunctional behavior(s) and explore and test out options for new behavior(s).
  4. The focused coach/client conversations create specific, practical, easy-to-implement actions for the Abrasive Leader – generating positive results for the leader, his/her team, and the organization.
  5. The end result is confidence and consistency in the Abrasive Leader using new behaviors.

Why This Important, Practical Program Works:

While the Abrasive Leader may have previously been given feedback about their behavior, the combination of the consequence conversation with their manager and HR, along with the detailed, compelling feedback inescapably confronts the leader with the seriousness of the behavior and the need to do something about it.

The Abrasive Leader is given a choice as to how they want to remediate the behavior – which gives them needed control and motivation during the change/improvement process.

As the Abrasive Leader begins to demonstrate new, approachable behaviors, complaints diminish and people stop fleeing which motivates the leader to continue with the change/improvement – and even accelerate the process.

The coaches have received special training in coaching Abrasive Leaders, they have extensive successful experience in coaching Abrasive Leaders, and they follow a proven coaching methodology.

What Results Can You Expect?

By the end of this practical, effective program, the Abrasive Leader is socialized and approachable so that people will have stopped complaining and fleeing.  And, since there is now harmony in the environment, morale and productivity are turned around and up and people are able to focus on their business goals. Additionally, potential litigation will have been eliminated.

What Others Have Said About the Program:

He seems to have acquired an awareness and respect for how he is coming across in meetings and social gatherings.  He no longer positions himself to be the center of attention.  He has stopped interrupting and poking holes in other people’s comments.  He is reaching out and engaging others.  Since he now collaborates instead of dominates, people are no longer reticent to work with him.  I don’t know how you did it, SJ, but you helped save an invaluable asset to our company.  Thanks again for the great work you have done with “X” this year.  Executive Vice President of a Senior Vice President in a Financial services Company.

In his latest mid-year review, I told “X” that I had obtained all good feedback about him – no new or additional negatives. People are finding him more approachable and communicating more effectively.  They feel he is now part of the team and that everyone feels included.   Thank you for all of your support.  Managing Director of a Senior Scientist at a Global Consumer Products Company.  

I am confidently collaborating – and no longer dominating.  People are finding me approachable and no longer reticent to work with me.  I am enjoying being a part of the team and coming to work.  And, in my latest mid-year review I received all positive feedback.  Thank you for all your support. Director at the bio-tech Company.

Where We Start in the Program:

The very first step in working with an Abrasive Leader is learning from co-workers how this leader is impacting the workforce.

Then through a series of focused coaching sessions we work with the Abrasive Leader until they:

  • Have clearly seen the consequences/negative impact of their abrasive behaviors;
  • Are ready to make real changes;
  • Are willing to work with a coach until these changes have been made and they are no longer manifesting abrasive behaviors.

The Structure of the Program:

These are the steps we typically go through in working with an Abrasive Leader:

  • Initial meetings with the sponsor, Abrasive Leader’s manager, and the client/Abrasive Leader.
  • Consequence conversation between HR, the Abrasive Leader’s manager, and the Abrasive Leader.
  • 360 individual interviews and, perhaps, a leadership assessment.
  • Goal setting (based on interview and assessment data).
  • Clarification of roles and responsibilities during the coaching process.
  • Semi-monthly coaching sessions (usually for 6 months).
  • Brief just-in-time coaching calls, as needed.
  • Interim pulse-check – at about 3 months.
  • Assessment of coaching outcomes – at about 6 months.
  • Review of going forward process for sustaining new behaviors.

The Next Step:

If you are aware of an Abrasive Leader in your organization, there is something you can do to start the process of change. Whether you are an HR manager or a direct manager of this person, please Contact Us for an initial conversation to discuss the situation and issues.