During the course of appraisal discussions that Krish had with Ram, he had understood Ram’s problem. Krish tried a lot to motivate Ram in various ways, but Ram would’nt budge an inch. After quite a lot of discussions and exploration, Krish understood that Ram had immense abilities but low willingness. When Ram was given new responsibilities or was told to take up new initiatives, something was amiss. That indeed was the million dollar question. Krish was quite clear there was a solution and that he had to act on this.
Krish spoke to a senior credentialed coach and he was assigned to Ram so that through a process of exploration and questioning, Ram would appreciate what came his way. After several intense coaching sessions, Ram came to the appreciation of the fact that he was stopping himself from acting on ideas, offering decisions, and taking the necessary risks for implementation. However, this was still not the final solution. And something had to be necessarily done to provide a breakthrough to Ram. The senior coach too was looking for a breakthrough till he chanced to read an article by Madeleine Blanchard. What the coach read hit the coach hard - a real whack on the head. The article was a story narrated by Sheryl Sandberg of on one of her Lean In Videos. In her role as COO at Facebook, Sheryl was faced with a big decision. She looked to CEO Mark Zuckerberg for input – but instead of giving her his opinion, or even an answer —he asked her, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” She was thunderstruck.
The same happened to the coach. He thought it was a powerful coaching question. In his next meeting, he tossed the very same question after initially prodding Ram for a while. Ram scratched his head for a moment but this time with a gleam in his eyes. Ram thought for a while and was seemingly talking to his inner self getting present to what was happening with him all these years. It was the fear of failure, the fear of not looking good if he made mistakes, and the fear of inadequacy that was stopping him. Ram had realized that he was the one committing suicide by his surrender to fear. For Ram this question was a life transforming one. It made him understand that he had to cross the limits he had laid for himself.
Is there a lesson for any of us?