Making Sense of Work with Jean Balfour

Ep. #65 The Impact of Leaders Who Coach with Amit Ghosh

August 10, 2023 Jean Balfour Season 2 Episode 65
Ep. #65 The Impact of Leaders Who Coach with Amit Ghosh
Making Sense of Work with Jean Balfour
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Making Sense of Work with Jean Balfour
Ep. #65 The Impact of Leaders Who Coach with Amit Ghosh
Aug 10, 2023 Season 2 Episode 65
Jean Balfour

I'd love to hear any questions or comments you have about the show. Send me a message! Jean

Each of us is on our path to achieving whatever we want to achieve, Inherently, we yearn for someone who holds unwavering belief in our capabilities.

And employees can easily sense if their leader is invested in them. People want to be in a place where their leader believes that they can change, that they can evolve, and that they can grow. 

Join us for an enlightening episode of "The Impact of Leaders Who Coach" featuring the insights of executive coach Amit Ghosh. Discover the essence of being a coaching-oriented leader and the impact this has on the performance and culture of an organisation. 


Meet Amit Ghosh 

Amit is an executive coach and advisor. He works with senior corporate leaders, and founders / CxOs in tech industry. He has 20+ yrs of experience spanning P&L management, strategy, business operations, and business development. 

Most recently, he was Chief Information & Services Officer for R3, a blockchain software unicorn, and a Board Director at two early-stage technology companies. He is passionate about talent development and believes everyone can transform when they decide to.

Book recommendation: The School of Life: An Emotional Education


Connect with Amit on LinkedIn 

Connect with Jean Balfour on LinkedIn

Connect with Jean Balfour on Instagram @jeanbalfour  

Experience an Introduction to our Coach Training Programmes with our Free Taster Course: https://courses.baileybalfour.com/course/coach-training-introduction

Sign up to our newsletter to learn more about upcoming programmes: https://baileybalfour.com/subscribe/

Show Notes Transcript

I'd love to hear any questions or comments you have about the show. Send me a message! Jean

Each of us is on our path to achieving whatever we want to achieve, Inherently, we yearn for someone who holds unwavering belief in our capabilities.

And employees can easily sense if their leader is invested in them. People want to be in a place where their leader believes that they can change, that they can evolve, and that they can grow. 

Join us for an enlightening episode of "The Impact of Leaders Who Coach" featuring the insights of executive coach Amit Ghosh. Discover the essence of being a coaching-oriented leader and the impact this has on the performance and culture of an organisation. 


Meet Amit Ghosh 

Amit is an executive coach and advisor. He works with senior corporate leaders, and founders / CxOs in tech industry. He has 20+ yrs of experience spanning P&L management, strategy, business operations, and business development. 

Most recently, he was Chief Information & Services Officer for R3, a blockchain software unicorn, and a Board Director at two early-stage technology companies. He is passionate about talent development and believes everyone can transform when they decide to.

Book recommendation: The School of Life: An Emotional Education


Connect with Amit on LinkedIn 

Connect with Jean Balfour on LinkedIn

Connect with Jean Balfour on Instagram @jeanbalfour  

Experience an Introduction to our Coach Training Programmes with our Free Taster Course: https://courses.baileybalfour.com/course/coach-training-introduction

Sign up to our newsletter to learn more about upcoming programmes: https://baileybalfour.com/subscribe/

Jean:

hi everyone, and welcome to Making Sense of Work. It's my pleasure to welcome Amit Goosh to the website today. Welcome, Amit.

Amit:

Great. Good morning and uh, Good morning everyone who are listening and great to meet you again Jean.

Jean:

Great. Thank you for joining me. Let me tell you a bit about Amit. He is an executive coach and advisor. He works with senior corporate leaders and founders, C X O in the tech industry. He has 20 plus years of experience spanning p and l management strategy, business operations, and business development. Most recently, he was chief information and services officer for R3, a blockchain software unicorn, and a board director at two early stage technology companies. He is passionate about talent development and believes everyone can transform when they decide to. I'm with you on that, so welcome.

Amit:

I knew you will be, I learned a lot about that from you as well..

Jean:

Good, thank you. How's work at the moment?

Amit:

Look, it's growing great, as you know. Uh, I have transitioned from a full-time role in the tech industry at R3 to building and expanding my own coaching and leadership development practice. so it's growing well. I'm enjoying the expansion part. I'm enjoying learning a lot more because I have more time. I continue to coach, which is always, brings joy and also gives me enough more to learn, every time I speak to somebody. So yeah, overall, can't complain.

Jean:

Great. So lots of learning at this stage in your career, I imagine.

Amit:

Yes. And I think learning has been one of the best things, which I have picked up more earnestly I would say in the last few years. One of the big parts of my learning journey was with, your. Education and the courses I did at Bailey Belfor. Um, so I attribute my eagerness and willingness to learn more and more being triggered by what I did, with you. So that, thanks for that. But learning has been one of the best, joyful things I've picked up earnestly, as I said, you know, I used to learn on the job, But, you know, finding time, carving out time separately to do that has the best thing.

Jean:

Uh, great, great. When you have a really good day at work, what does that look like for you?

Amit:

So look, my, my days are a combination of few key activities, right? So first, uh, there is, coaching. the second is. Building or expanding on my practice. The third is writing, uh, which I picked up again recently. and the fourth is learning. that's on the professional side and on the personal side. I have time with my daughter as, you know, I have a five year old, and with my family, spouse, mother, brother. So a combination of these things makes a day great, but, you know, really want to hit the mark on. At least three out of these four or five, right in a day. Not, not every day goes where everything goes well, or I'm performing at my best all time long. But, uh, really, if I can do, let's say a great coaching session that already gives me a lot of energy, or if I'm learning a lot and I go deep into something, then that gives me a lot of energy. So I, try and measure good days or great days, by how energetic I feel. And how excited I feel for the next day. Uh, right. And if I'm feeling drained, then it's not been such a great day. And then I try to observe what brought my energy down that day, how do I not do much of that, the next day or in the following days. Right. Uh, so yeah, so energy is my measure. And if I get a few of these things right every day, then that's, that's a great day.

Jean:

Mm. Great. Thank you. I'm reminded as you're talking about that, about a podcast I heard with Jim Collins, who wrote Good To Great. He's interviewed on Tim Ferriss's podcast and it's really worth a listen. But one of the things he talks about is how he evaluates his days and a little bit similar to you, but he has a spreadsheet and a. Scoring system. So he is scoring every day on how it was from minus two to plus two, and then working out how he gets more plus two days, which I really loved the concept of. So I'm mirroring a bit of that.

Amit:

I need to learn from him then

Jean:

yeah. It's, it is well worth a listen I shared a little bit about your career, but it would be lovely if you could te tell us a bit more about how you came to be doing what you're doing at the moment. What was your career journey to here?

Amit:

Yeah, miss, I tell people that I, I feel like I've meandered along in my career, based on, you know, what I felt energized to do and what opportunities presented. I. But if I look at, my 20 plus years of work experience, it's primarily been in the technology industry, both in product and services. I did a short stint with, the Boston Consulting Group as a consultant. And I've done primarily work in three themes, right? One, a large part of my early career was in engineering. And then the last, one and a half or more decades have been either in business operation strategy or business development. And somewhere along that path, I discovered that, I needed to find myself again, especially as a leader, and especially find my feet again in the context I was presented at that point of time. So I found a coach, to help me. and then I became a coach, and we can talk more about that. So that's been my journey in a quick, short summary.

Jean:

Thank you. And I'm curious about that link between having a coach and becoming a coach. So what was it that drew you into being interested in actually training as a coach

Amit:

That's a good question. Let me backtrack a little bit of when I found my coach and what happened. Uh, so I, going through a of a crisis moment. In my own leadership journey at work, uh, I had taken on a bigger role. We were in Covid times, at that period. And really, there were a whole host of challenges within the organization, right? Uh, which I was presented with. So I, I had to find myself of how do I deal with everything and which part of me has to be deployed. In what scenario, right? What skills do I bring to every situation and do I even have the skills? Like I had a little bit of an imposter syndrome, It's welcoming in. And I realized, having spoken to my coach, uh, ex extensively about that period, and during that period, I realized that I got much more comfortable in dealing with what was being presented to me or what the world presented to me or the organization presented to me. And I, most importantly, I felt comfortable in who I was and the strengths I had. The strengths I did not have. Uh, right. And felt more comfortable in my own skin. And I think that was the biggest takeaway for me, right. in organizations I've felt that we always try to be somebody else. Uh, because, you know, such and such person will get promoted. And if you behave that way, then that is looked upon well, and you know, it's rated well. So there is a lot of optics, related management, which people do. Right. Or constantly trying to figure out what should I do to impress what should I do to progress? And, you know, I was not, alien to that. Like I've been guilty of doing that myself. There comes a point where I had to figure out, you know, I just need to be myself. and so once I got to that point, I realized that many of my team members, and maybe my direct reports even probably could use similar help. Right. and that's where I felt that, you know, if I became a coach or I had some of the skills my coach had, I could really bring benefit to them and bring benefit to the company. So that's, that's the journey right? Like it's more, more in my history of where I needed to be a coach or needed a coach. And then, you know, how that led me to be one.

Jean:

Yeah, it's, there's a beautiful link There to the concept of, authenticity or being yourself at work and that that kind of pressure that we're all experiencing to show up as something that we think is required and therefore hiding or not being ourselves. And that, that you could make that connection both for you and then the people you are leading about how to help them to be themselves in the workplace.

Amit:

Beginning, once I started training with you and, your group of, excellent teachers, I must say. I started, you know, bringing that back to the team, either in one-on-ones, which were not labeled as coaching sessions by any means. And in a few cases we, I did coaching sessions explicitly. Right. And really, I think in all of those it was my interest and, urge for the coachees or my team. Really be open and let's not have a boss and a team relationship or a team member relationship, right? what do you really want is the question I really explored

Jean:

Mm. Yeah. Great.

Amit:

What makes you really happy because if you are happy, if you're intrinsically motivated, then you'll do your best at work, right? The rest I don't to worry about. If that is not sorted, then. As a leader, I'm concerned.

Jean:

Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Yeah, that's beautiful. It'd be great if you could say a bit more kind of building on that, about how training as a coach impacted your working life.

Amit:

I think it impacted me significantly as a leader. Uh, so the first thing it did is it moved me from telling to listening. As a leader, as a manager, I. We often believe we have the answers. We often believe we are right. Uh, we often believe that we know everything, and most people who have done the work on themselves know that is not true by any means. And in, in a big way we have a lot to learn. So I think I first big shift happened is from just telling what I thought my team should do or a single or a specific person should do to just listening. Um,

Jean:

can I interrupt you there and just say How, easy or hard was that transition?

Amit:

so I think it was, for me, it was not super hard to listen because I, I, I felt that I was listening well before, but I think the transition was hard from listening to answer their questions, to listening to be more curious. Right. So that, that transition was definitely hard, right? Like, you know, previously I, I listened well, but I was thinking about what should I say next, right?

Jean:

yeah.

Amit:

Ver versus, you know, uh, what will I ask next is the shift I made right? And what other things should, am I naturally curious about it? I had to work on it and I worked on it, you know, when I was training with you. And the school, but I also worked on it, at work. So that was one big shift. The second big shift I believe, came when I realized that, you know, everybody can transform when they decide they want to. Right? Uh, and that's in summary what growth mindset is. Uh, as coaches, we foster that. Uh, but as a leader we need to foster that because, you know, Often enough, We are trying to correct employees or, you know, sometimes we fire employees because we can't even correct them. Uh, and that's an approach which I, I'm being, a less fan of. What I believe is, if you really invest in people and if they choose to, then they can transform, and whatever transform means for them, um, it's not my definition for them. Um, but really I think investing in people, came because I had that aha moment myself that, you know, if I can transform in whatever little way, I was able to by that point, then others can too. Right. And as the leader that. That gave me a lot more hope and a lot more energy to keep investing in them. Right. Uh, before that, I would probably get frustrated at, you know, not, not getting the outcomes I was hoping for, because then it was my definition of success, my definition of transformation for them, it was not something they had picked for themselves. So I think that growth mindset or having that belief that everybody can transform is the, uh, Next big thing

Jean:

And how did people, sorry to interrupt again. How did people respond to that,

Amit:

I would say, you know, this is not something I deployed, explicitly. So this, like, I use this mindset more, weaved through my conversations of, one-on-ones, end of year reviews or media reviews. And so every conversation was about, My team. Right. Uh, less about what I wanted from them. Right. Uh, so there's one good example. You know, in one case, I had a, when I started off, I had a tough relationship with one of my, team members, and I. It was almost like, uh, it was at a breaking point, and, everybody said, Hey, this would not work, right. So you better cut the cord now. but I had already been exposed to what I was learning, with you, Jean, so I really said, look, let me give it the shot. Let's see if we can, if growth mindset and the other, aspects of coaching. Can help me here, right? Can help me deal with this tough relationship with my own team member. Uh, and really I think that I was able to transform their relationship by just investing in that person and really just shifting most of my conversations to be about their future, their role, their challenges, their strengths, and how we can help them become better. Right? Uh, Because they were a very capable person. So they were capable in their work. I get out of their way, uh, but they needed help to work on themselves, right? So that's where I invested time and energy.

Jean:

great. Yeah, I mean, I think that's a beautiful example of how if we come with that concept, that growth mindset concept, we can help people shift and move and, and often people are just not knowing even how to ask for help, and we can do that.

Amit:

Yeah, I think especially people who are portray a very strong, confident personality. Uh, They struggle sometimes and especially ambitious people like who have been successful also probably can struggle, uh, to ask for help in some ways. I have struggled to ask for help in my past life, right? And I'm getting better at that myself, uh, over the last few years. I realized that, it's my, my hesitation came from what I felt was the right thing to do. What was not right for me was felt right Because, you know, the world told me that, Hey, you have to act this way, uh, to be a leader, to be a male in, in a household like all these stereotypes, which we believe, right? Uh, so yeah, some of that, uh, I think holds us back from asking for help, as

Jean:

mm Yeah. Great. Thank you. And you had a, you had another area I think that you

Amit:

Uh, thanks for the prompt. yeah, so the third thing, which I did, uh, which we are coaching really helped, was ask the right kind of questions, and that's something which we spend a lot of time on, and when we learn about. How to be a coach, you know, not going into the wise, as much, for example, is a great, great tip, right? Like, how do you use the what and the how to really explore, in many ways the context a little bit better, the emotions a little bit better. so I, I would say that really helped, shift. So I was having conversations, but you're not shifting the conversation to be more exploratory, shifting the conversation to be more future, minded rather than analyzing all the past, which we can't change. Was really helpful. Uh, and the fourth thing I would say, which we coaching really helped, and this has been a journey as well, is to really build collection. I think, Relationships at work or in personal life are about the connection we have with other person.

Jean:

Mm.

Amit:

And that comes through a whole host of factors. But, through coaching, really, I think you give time to the other person. You give space to the other person. You really, truly try and listen. You truly try and be curious about them. Uh, not my thoughts, right? And all of that builds. Definitely some connection, right? Uh, and over time, that becomes stronger. So I think, in a team context as a leader, that really helped me build some very strong connections, which I have left the company and I still hold those connections even now, right? And people still connect with me because of those connections which I build. Uh, so I think those are the four biggest, uh, things which I took away or applied and benefited from, when I was a leader.

Jean:

Yeah. Well, thanks for sharing. There's something for me, about believing in a relational approach to leadership. So I fundamentally believe that organizations are deeply relational and that if we learn to work better in relationship, then things. Work better things get easier in the organization if we're doing that. And what you're describing is, I believe that using a coaching approach helped you to do that. Helped you to kind of all the wheels of the relationships in a good way. In a way that opened up possibility, curiosity, opportunities for people to share more of themselves. And I really

Amit:

I, yeah. Um, organizations are all about relations, especially the modern age organization, we are, many of us are not in assembly lines and just moving one part to another part, right? There are industries like that, of course, you know, in the, economy, which is driven by people and entirely by people. I think relationships is what makes a company successful. Team successful, and leader, successful. So coaching, definitely other coaching approach, I would say definitely and significantly helps. Uh, there.

Jean:

Yeah, I can hear that. There's one, part of that piece that can be really challenging for people, and that's the managing upwards, managing people who are our seniors. And I'm, I guess I'm wondering whether you saw any impact on the relationships with your boss or other senior people in the organization?

Amit:

Oh, totally. I think, the skill you learn to as a coach can be applied in all, 360 dimensions of your life. So in my case, my boss was the CEO of the company, and he had a busy schedule. It was hard to catch him. he communicated often, through WhatsApp. but you know, we had regular conversations, right? Whether in, in a team setting at the executive committee level, or even just one-on-ones and really even there, um, take my one-on-ones with him, previously what I would used to do is, share what's going on so that he's abreast of. What's happening. So it was more of an update type feeling, right. it was not exactly an update, but you know, it was more of me telling him or me sharing what is happening in my team, what is happening in my region, where the challenges are. And then, you know, once I started learning, To be a coach. I started trying to shift that conversation by using the coaching approach where I started asking him more questions and using, again, similar coaching approaches, which I learned. And really that turned into more discussions of, you know, where he and I could collaborate for something which I was facing, right? Or he and I could collaborate for something which the company needed. so it was less about, more of a one-sided communication and him making sure that I have everything to becoming a partnership. Right. Where, you know, we became almost while in hierarchy, we were one level apart in, in reality as human beings, we were, we became together in solving the company's problems. So really I think, um, having that approach, having the sense of curiosity, having the sense of, the ways to ask the right questions really help even managing upwards. Right. And I've used that even in board discussion, frankly. Right. You know, when the board questions me, for example, like I've had a few opportunities to present at the board level for R three, and when the board questions me, immediately, you don't assume that the board knows everything and I don't know every anything, right? Uh, or it's a question on my, intelligence. Even there, you can use a coaching approach to clarify, right. And you can get, so there are so many dimensions of life or every dimension of life where you can use, the coaching skills.

Jean:

It's that shift to curiosity that you're describing that's so fundamental in it.

Amit:

exactly. You know, and curiosity about the person, what makes the ask or for something which they're asking for, uh, what makes them challenge. Uh, if I'm presenting a point of view and they're challenging, what makes them present that, challenge to us? Yeah. Just be curious. Right. but it is harder to do than me just saying it. It takes some practice, of course.

Jean:

It does. It requires us to notice that we are feeling triggered or defensive or whatever, and stay in curiosity, which is really hard. It is really hard to do that. Yeah. As you were developing this leadership style were there things that you noticed. There were times when coaching wasn't appropriate or a coaching approach wasn't appropriate, and you know, how did you work out when it was the time to coach?

Amit:

I think there are definitely a lot of situations where we should coach as leaders, so you know. If you're doing growth conversations with your employee, right? Very obvious coaching moment. If your team is running a project but have stumbled, a coaching moment rather than a telling moment, so don't micromanage coach the situation, but there are situations when you do not need to coach or you should just be instructive or roll your sleeves and just dive in. So for example, if there is a crisis in a project and it needs to be dealt with now, uh, then that's not a coaching moment because that coaching moment may take a little bit of time. Right? Um, because it requires the other person to have an insight and then work on some transformation. Sometimes, strategy, communication or vision communication needs to be very direct. and it, it cannot be, the insight cannot come from us using the coaching approach much. It is a communication from the leader to the team.

Jean:

Yeah.

Amit:

It is almost telling, right? Like you should be in tell mode in, in those cases, right? And finally, I think, if somebody is very lost, I think there's a combination of coaching and a little bit of instructing, which we have to do as leaders, right? So sometimes, you know, um, I have had fairly senior people come in and then trying to grapple with the complexities of the organization and also the complexities of running their own part of the business. And that requires a little bit of combination of helping them. What they can do through a coaching approach, but also giving them very practical tips of here are the three to five things which have succeeded for everybody else who is in the company. Just go do that. Get your quick wins and let's work on the bigger piece, uh, the coaching approach. So I think you know it, any of these approaches are one, are toolkits in our box as leaders and we have be mindful of where, um, we use what I the risk of. Sometimes getting too enamored with any of these is you just apply that all the time. And, then that defeats the purpose having this as a capability in your toolkit.

Jean:

Mm. Yeah. Thanks for sharing that. I'm, I'm particularly curious about this idea of when people lost, and I'm noticing for myself that I can be tempted then to carry on coaching, but actually I'm thinking of the idea of a map as somebody's lost. Sometimes we have to offer them a map. And help them see how to navigate in that place. And, um, that doing that enables us to move into a mentoring or a leadership role, and that that is powerful and helpful. So, yeah, that's really important.

Amit:

I think that bit like the map analogy is great, right? You might also point out to them that, hey, just go reach that small village and you'll find somebody who can help you from there on. Right?

Jean:

Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. Well, I'm gonna play, play with that idea. That's great. Um, one, one of the things that I am, I'm wishful about with coaching is because I believe that relationships are fundamental and organizations, and of course, conversations sit at the heart of relationships. Is that, we create a ripple effect that if I am coaching, it has an effect wider than me, wider than the person I'm with even, and out into the organization. And this is one of my kind of hopes for coaching, and I've seen it happen in places. So I'm wondering whether you saw that, whether you saw that a wider impact beyond just you and your directs on using a coaching approach.

Amit:

Yeah, so I think. One of the big, benefits of using the coaching approach was to build that connection, which I was talking about, right? And once you build that connection, what it enables is us to do so, me and my directs to be in sync, uh, with each other of what, not just the tactics of the organization, but the emotions of an organization as well.

Jean:

Okay.

Amit:

How, how we might guide our team. So often enough, it's not just words on a PowerPoint, right? It is. These translate through what I believe we should be doing, then to my direct and then has to. Percolate down in the organization. So I think that using the coaching approach and helped me with the connection, which helped me then with information being transferred fully or you know, the emotion being transferred fully and then that hopefully then gets trickled down if my directs are doing the same as I was. Right.

Jean:

Hmm.

Amit:

one. The second, which I felt a big benefit was, When, you know, if you use the coaching approach, especially the growth mindset approach, I think people can sense that you're invested in them. It comes across in team meetings, it comes across in town halls. It comes across as the culture of the team or the culture of the company. And if you foster that mindset, I think people want to be in a place where their leader believes that they can change and they can evolve and they can grow, and you can, they can course correct. because we are all on our paths, unique parts to, you know, achieving whatever we want to achieve and we want somebody to believe in us, right? and that only comes across fully if you truly believe, right? if it's just, you know, lip service. It's very easy to read, and leaders sometimes forget, that it is very easy to read, for me, that was the big shift, right? Like I didn't touch every single individual in my team, uh, properly one-on-one, right? Like, I couldn't have the capacity and somewhere even geographically so far away that I couldn't even meet them. You know, really just taking the time to understand what are the growth needs of the team, and then communicating that through team meetings or town halls, I think hopefully showed up. And you know, that's the feedback I used to get as a leader in the 360 surveys or the surveys, which we do that look, we care for their growth.

Jean:

Right.

Amit:

And I think that's one of the biggest benefits. Uh, which people are looking for when they work for any company they want to grow

Jean:

yeah.

Amit:

so I'd say those are the two big things, where, you know, it's not just limited to your individual direct reports or small cohort of stakeholders, but it can between pass through to many others,

Jean:

Hmm. Great. Good. I'm happy to hear that.'cause, it's such a kind of hope and a wish for me. Um, so you've talked so much about, your own experience and of course, we train coaches, so I wondering, if you could say a little bit about why you believe leaders should train as a coach, and also when is it good to do that? Which point in your career is it good to do that?

Amit:

my view, having done it very late in life, is to do it very early in life. Uh, as a miss, frankly, I would say coaching doesn't even have to be for leaders. coaching is such a good skill that you can do it even if you're an individual contributor, frankly, because. Coaching is about relationships, and coaching is about connection. It's not only about leadership, right? Of course it helps in a great way and in a big way when you're a leader, but it is truly just about connection and relationships. So I think if you are a human being, having a relationship with another human being, which I think we all are, when coaching is right for you. But, uh, from a leadership perspective, at least, every manager should think about, Having a coaching skill, right? Or learning how to coach, whether they become a full-time coach or not, that's totally up to them. But you know the skills if you are managing anywhere up north of two people, right? I always recommend take a coaching course, because it really would help shift the nature of the discussions you're having, with your team. Even if they are junior and you are junior, right? It doesn't matter. So I think that's, what I, I think of timing, right? And really I think, who should take it, as I said, everybody should take it, right? I recommended my spouse even to take it so that it can help us even in our marriage and, in our home situation. Because,, many times our questions and the way we approach situations are set in the ways which are, you know, a little bit backward looking and. I did that. I did that kind of thing. Right? Or Yeah, I told you so. Right?

Jean:

Mm-hmm.

Amit:

Is often, uh, something we hear at the workplace or even at home, right? Uh, and you have to shift that to growth mindset

Jean:

Mm-hmm. Yeah. One of the things I I hear coming through really clearly, in what you're describing is about the future, not just about the growth mindset, but that kind of future focus, so that we focus on so much in coaching is about moving forward, forward momentum, and I can hear you in lots of the ways you've described it, sharing that as being an example of what a benefit is of doing it.

Amit:

It's look, um, I have been guilty of living in the past and holding onto the past for way too long in my life. I probably still do a little bit, right? and I'm trying to shed some of that. Uh, there's great benefits in the past that we learned in the past and, you know, Like, so it is not just forgetting everything which has happened to our past. There are great memories and there are great lessons, but there is also great worries and great stresses, right? And I think we have to drop those, uh, in my view, right? And use that part of the energy which we are using to hold onto those to look forward and look forward more and see what we can do differently.

Jean:

Yeah. Yeah. Very true. Thank you for sharing that. I'm gonna segue just slightly as we begin to draw to a close, and, uh, one of the questions I'm interested in is asking people about imposter syndrome because we are better at talking about this now, but I. Think it's still a bit of a mission of mine to invite people to share their experience of it and how they deal with it. So I was wondering if you could share a bit about your own experience of this.

Amit:

Yeah, absolutely. And I referenced that a little bit earlier as well. even in the recent past, in the last couple of years, As I took on bigger roles, where, the organization and my CEO trusted me somehow I didn't trust myself, that I could do it. this happens to so many of us, right? and in my case, especially, I have a very high bar for myself for most things, right? I was not meeting my bar, right? So when, for example, when I became the head of Asia and sales was a big component of my role, I had never done proper B two B sales in a software company. I had been in business development roles quite a bit, so, Mindset, commercial. I've done commercial work, but I've not done sales. And I immediately felt like, oh, this is beyond me. I cannot, this is not, I'm not fit for this role. It's the feeling. And really, I think, uh, the way I challenged it, this was, I would say, say wholehearted thanks to my coach who helped me, you know, first. Help me figure what my strengths are, right? And how do I approach any situation which I have not dealt with before? Right? Sometimes we plan, we try to plan everything. And I am one of those planners, so I try to plan everything in advance and know how I'll get it from point A to point B. but sometimes we are, presented with situations which, where we cannot plan and at, we have to deal with the moment. In the moment, right? And that's it. We have those skills, right? We inherently, as human beings, we have skill to deal with challenging moments. We forget sometimes, that we have those skills. In those cases, really, for me, imposter syndrome was first recognizing that I had it. Uh, so observing that the second was, really asking for help. and I think this is one of those moments where it is great to ask for help because, We cannot figure everything out ourselves. like I tell, my clients now that, you know, I'm a coach myself, but I still have a coach because I can't coach myself,

Jean:

Yeah.

Amit:

right? Uh, so similarly, I asked for help and the third thing was, I started building the muscle of how to deal with unforeseen situations, skills I don't have, and what can I do to leverage the skills I have. And build the skills I don't have. Because it is not about me alone in that journey. I might be head of Asia at that point, or I might be the Chief information services officer, but it was about the team and the collective team being successful.

Jean:

Yeah.

Amit:

I had to play a role in that team. Right? Uh, it was, I didn't have to carry the whole team myself for every single thing. Right? so I really, shifted the view and worked with my coach, to do that. and I think most coaches help people who are in imposter syndrome to do so similar, I would assume.

Jean:

Yeah, it's interesting. One of the things that I hear you saying is about how often imposter syndrome is so much in our mind, and actually, if we can take it out of our mind by talking to somebody or journaling or just observing it ourselves, we can then work out what to do. And that it becomes a bit of a practical task sometimes to say, okay, well first of all, what is just my mind telling me, and it's not true, but are there gaps that I need to work on and develop? And when I do that, it will become easier, I'll, we get better at the job. You know? And, and also I believe that every new job brings some form of imposter syndrome because we are out of our comfort zone. We've moved, you know, we suddenly don't know how to do everything.

Amit:

Yeah, this is absolutely right. I think we cook up so many things in our head, right? Uh, and the other thing, which I would say, uh, reflecting back on my journey where I felt this was, I started to trust. People who cared for me, in this case, let's say my CEO or other stakeholders who had decided to put me in the spot or put me in that role, they had more at stake. My CEO is the founder of the company, right? Uh, in some sense, you know, success of the company has a big, upside for him or downside for him if it doesn't go well. So he's not trying to put people just for. You know, help, you know, benefiting me, right? He's doing the right business decision. And also he is, you know, uh, we had a great relationship, but in some sense, you know, I was completely ignoring the confidence they, a couple of them had in me. And I was just believing what was in my head, right? And so I think you have to observe not just what's in your head, but also observe what made them pick me or what made them comfortable putting me in that spot. Uh, they must have seen something. Why am I not seeing that?

Jean:

Yeah. I need to go looking for it. Yeah. Brilliant. Thank you. So, final question from me. Is there a book or a podcast that you would recommend that has influenced you?

Amit:

Yeah, look, miss, I, I would recommend your podcast to everybody, but that's a little bit biased here. but nevertheless, I think it, it's a great podcast, but one, one book, which has really helped me, and I read it almost as my, you know, life Bible, if you might, is a book called The School of Life. From this organization called The School of Life. Uh, the book has a few chapters, one on self, one on relationships, one on work. And really it helped me, to first understand what is making me behave or feel, the way I am. And, a lot of that is rooted in my upbringing in the way, you know, the influences which have shaped me to be who I am. So that book, that was a great eyeopener for me I found this book five, six years ago now, and I've continued to read it as and when I need. and the second thing it really helped me is to also bust some myths, which I was believing, right? Where there are about relationships, like relationships have to be this way, right? And. Norms, which we have come to believe because we hear them so often. But really as human beings, you know, uh, we are all unique. We build relationships in our own way. We build connection in our own way. We grow in our own way. Right. And, so this book also helped clarify some of those. I would say Albert Mets, which I had come to believe, because nobody showed me the other, the true reality of how we as humans are. Right. So I think it's a great book. I would recommend, it might be a heavy read, but take your pen, take some notes. Uh, but I would highly recommend the book.

Jean:

Thank you. We will put a link to it in the show notes. Well, thank you so much Ami, for joining me today. And the thing I'm taking away from today is a renewed. Way of looking at the growth mindset and how that actually is part of the ripple effects. That if we start to shift into a growth mindset, when we shift into a growth mindset and hold that change is possible for people, then change is possible for people and that's part of your, where you started. It's part of what you believe in. And I hear that in so much of what you say. So thank you so much for sharing that today.

Amit:

It was a fantastic conversation, so thank you for giving me the opportunity to be here this morning.