Personal Brand – True Story 2

November 13, 2018

A few months ago, I was coaching Bhasker (name changed), a senior leader.

Among other areas of his coaching need, he was also keen to alter his image. He seemed to have acquired the image of a hard taskmaster and wanted to be seen as a people-friendly leader. He felt he was already a very people-friendly person. ‘They’ did not understand him. It was just that he was being business-focused.

When we began working together in this particular area, it took me some time to explain to him that, for all practical purposes, Perception is Reality.

With the help of examples, I explained to him that when an individual forms an opinion of someone, he does not have a ‘perception’ and a ‘reality’ to choose from. The individual has one considered view, which happens to be his reality. While we may dismiss it as ‘perception’, this view is the only one that counts for that individual. Most importantly, for that individual, this is the ‘reality’.

From a coaching standpoint, if we consider a ‘perception’ to be the reality, it helps to create an action plan. Else we could be defensive and forever trapped in ‘virtual reality’.

I conducted a 360-degree feedback. The results were a revelation. The feedback told him that he was just the opposite of a people-friendly leader. He hardly listened and came across as arrogant. He made commitments but rarely followed them through.

Likewise, responses to the open-ended questions were scathing. They almost stated that he was a slave-driver.

To me, this was a classic case of a conflict in the ‘Core Elements and Attributes’ section under Reality Check as discussed in our last post ( Please refer to the first of the 3 takeaways.

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