Here you are a worst case

on BLOG, Coaching, development 5 Gen, 2015

Here you are a worst case

I want to tell about an event experienced firsthand, a year and a half ago. There is no invention in this story: it's pure news.

Together with two colleagues, I had been involved as a coach in a challenging management development training course, led by a group of emblazoned foreign consultants and trainers. Professionals who were rightly proud of providing such a service to a multinational company, even more considering that the course was internally "sold" as an investment of the company on the participants themselves. A kind of credit of trust.

The rhythms were incessant between interventions, simulations, coaching sessions, presentations. Towards the end of the seminar, a simulation took place, a kind of role play, in which two teachers represented two opposite manager behaviours: the right one and the one to be corrected. The right, winning, promoted attitude, to emulate, characterizing the "real manager", was represented by a soft and happy way of walking, rich in teasers, smiles and "gimme five". Among the many amenities, it was evident that the trainers-actors had a good time, and the many participants too.

When the turn of the wrong/dangerous behaviour arrived, the two strolling players turned into ... into two depressed. Slow walk, hunched shoulders, downcast and fearful eyes, lack of expression; I was struck by this discriminatory, disrespectful, frankly superficial trivialization. I was struck by this trivialization, by the sharp contrast with the tone and content of the course itself and by the sounding laughs of the class.

Soon after, the coaching sessions began: the participants in turn covered the role of the coach, of the coachee and of the observers, under my and my two colleagues' guidance.

During the lunch break, at the table of trainers we exchanged, as usual, feedback and I respectfully pointed out the absurdity of the pantomime. In another context, would the trainers – always so politically correct, so far so measured in offering case studies and managerial models – have pointed the finger in a so intransigent manner towards a certain attitude, in favour of another? Would they have ridiculed the same way the diversity of opinions, reactions, behaviour, history? Would they have laughed of – I know – a ill or "different" person?

Teachers were visibly astonished by my comments: obviously it was just an exemplification, a moment of leisure, there was no malice... Maybe I misunderstood.

Yes, even today, it happens to see that some companies would like their employees to be shaped on their desires, their fantasies, their schemes, without to matter of real characters, differences and aspirations. Maybe they publish on the website a eulogy to diversity, but they internally ban all "variations on the theme".

But the air - like it or not - is rapidly changing: I have even the physical perception that similar incidents are becoming increasingly rare and that big or small companies have begun to understand that human resources are really human and really resources and that only investing in people they can overcome the crisis.

I deeply trust in this cultural change and in the fundamental role that coaching plays in it: this is my best wishes for a great, evolved 2015.

What is your opinion on that?






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