Coaching trajectory offers a solution

"Although the management fully supported me in my new position, it turned out to be difficult to win over my older colleagues - mostly in their fifties - for my approach."

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Generation gap

Since 2008 I have been working for a company of about 200 employees with an average age of 50. Although I was hired as an engineer in a technical department, I quickly indicated that I wanted to go more in the direction of Sales. I have also shown an active interest in a position with more responsibilities. My work has always been rated very good and I was promoted to a senior position relatively quickly. Not much later I was asked for work in the commercial area. That was exactly what I wanted and so with just under four years of work experience I was in a process to become a Sales Manager. In my working method and motivation I am supported by both CEO and management and I feel very valued. In the workplace, however, it has proven to be a difficult process to express my enthusiasm effectively, among relatively old employees. Apparently my attitude and working method are experienced as confusing and disruptive. I clearly notice that I pull people out of their comfort zone. I do this because I strongly believe that it is the right way forward. However, this creates a lot of resistance from people who "always did it this way" and pride themselves on their past experiences.

In addition, there are a number of internal political issues due to several reorganization rounds. The procedure and responsibilities to be followed are not clearer for everyone. For example, I actually have an internal customer role as an interface to the outside world, where I have to collaborate with colleagues towards that outside world at the same time. This creates a continuous field of tension in which I and the commercial interests and the internal collegiate interests have to reconcile. In order to increase my effectiveness internally, I was offered coaching from Isense by HR.

After a very candid first conversation, my situation, background and attitude appeared to be well categorized. The insights and tips I got from the first two sessions alone paid off almost immediately afterwards. I've started to confront more and more to keep small wounds from getting infected, and I feel I've developed a better view of my interaction with colleagues. I am confident that this session will allow me to operate a lot better at my job. The awareness and the tools from the coaching have already proved very valuable.

(Name known to the VHP2, male, age 35)