PROJECT: Re-organize Senior Management
CLIENT: Vice-President (2600 employees)
CONSULTANT: Martyn Carruthers
BENEFITS: About $250,000 saved and effective communications restored
BACKGROUND: During a management re-organization; the
management structure, performance and relationships were examined. The following
case history outlines one part of this project.
ISSUE: A senior executive officer was part of the original startup
team, and was involved in all core initiatives, but experienced difficulty
relating to his CEO, peers and subordinate staff. The management team had
worked together intensively for over six years. Although the executive
was widely regarded as a genius project manager, the CEO and most
senior management avoided and minimized personal contact with him,
describing fearsome mood swings. The cost of replacing him was
estimated at $250,000; plus months of chaos and a probable major
unfair dismissal lawsuit.
SOLUTION: Individual systemic coaching with the executive.
The goal direction was to clarify the issues, identify the causes
and change the patterns. Background data was collected during
interviews with the CEO and staff, including
of the relationship structure in which the executive worked.
Clear goals were identified and mutual expectations established.
SYSTEMIC DIAGNOSIS: The executive was aware that his workplace attitude
was problematic - but he was shocked to find the extent. During coaching, he
realized that he often communicated to the CEO as if to an equal partner; to
senior executives as if to siblings; and to junior managers as if to
The executive was stunned to realize that he often used close-family
relationship language and non-verbal behavior with employees; and that he
experienced and communicated unpleasant emotions if they did not respond
with similar close-family behavior. He discovered that he transferred
his family relationship needs onto his co-workers. These needs, together
with his unpleasant emotions about feeling rejected by his co-workers,
motivated him to behave in ways that they preferred to avoid - ways that
they called fearsome mood swings.
As the executive focused on effective solutions, he understood how changing
his business relationships would benefit himself and his company by maintaining
and increasing personal and team productivity. A strategic change plan provided
a sequence for the executive to develop his relationship skills. The plan was to
create effective and pleasant workplace relationships and end counter-productive
behaviors. He implemented the plan over six weeks, with our ongoing feedback and
RESULTS: The executive quickly learned how to achieve better
results through effective relationship management. He gained insights and
skills for making relationship choices that served both him and his
organization. He understood how his relationship entanglements inhibited
corporate success (and recognized that these entanglements might precipitate
early retirement or termination. His newly identified behaviors,
reinforced through our coaching, replaced less productive habits.
As the executive clarified his work relationships, he could better focus
on strategic issues. Simultaneously, his changed outlook allowed
him to empower the junior managers. Relationships with the CEO and
peers improved dramatically (and as his relationship communications generalized -
he reported better relationships within
his real family members).
Within six weeks the executive reported that many of his peers and
junior managers who once avoided him were offering friendly co-operation.
He reported significantly more energy for his work and his life generally.
(And other executives requested our individual coaching.)
NOTES: Most human adults NEED quality relationships in seven categories,
and react in predictable ways if their relationship needs are not met.
Appropriate reactions include improving friendship and partnership skills.
Inappropriate reactions include depression, distractions (obsessions etc),
dissociating from co-workers (acting as if unconcerned, unconnected or
detached) and relating to co-workers AS IF the co-workers were family
members. The latter reaction is common and may produce enormous
confusion and chaos in organizational relationships.
Managers often spend more time with their colleagues than with their
families. A deep need for belonging (for partnership and parenthood) can
motivate managers to inappropriately bond to co-workers. Difficult scenarios
occur quickly if other employees have complementary needs and simultaneously
create emotional bonds (transference loops).
This results in systemic entanglements -
codependent and symbiotic relationships that distort the thinking and
limit the actions of employees.
Following systemic diagnosis, solutions usually often become more and more
obvious and are usually easy to implement. The difficulty is defining the
emotional blocks and fixations.
Some organizations use entanglements as a way to control
people. Entanglements are a defining feature of compliance in many cults,
multi-level marketing, fundamental and military
organizations. To help employees leave cults and extremist organizations,
see Exit Coaching.
Emotional freedom results when relationships are evaluated and clarified,
and relationship skills are learned, practiced and used.
Systemic Solutions offers
practical relationship management integrated into business coaching.
Case History: Manage
Families in Organizations
History: Manage Conflict in Organizations
Case History: Entrepreneurial Management in a Bank
with Martyn Carruthers
Systemic Coaching & Training
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resolve their success blocks and relationship challenges.
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Plagiarism is theft. © Martyn Carruthers All rights reserved 2003-2012