Organizational Leadership Coaching

Emilian Kroumov, CPC
Management Coaching, HR L&D Consulting; Industrial/Organizational Psychology

I was approached by a senior executive, who was a participant in my training seminar few weeks ago. I was asked if I could give him my point of view for some systematic occurring issue in interactions with his outer and inner clients. He realized the need of help in making his executive team more effective in working with clients. After initial fussy and hurry opening of the conversation the topic emerged – how to shift up some of his clients and subordinates towards getting them down to business. He mentioned an article he read about similar organizational issues and asked me if we could discuss it further.

I could see it was important for him to lean on some “authority”, a proven opinion coming from his specific professional area. It is often like that – senior managers, owners, etc., try to keep close to the shore, in what they are really experts. Which is OK, it is needed, helps us to feel we have the control.

What I want to present you is of key importance – management role is not easy to perform, because it insists from us to be more people oriented, and less focused on professional expertise, specific skills and competencies. Let say these are the two sides of the coin, but this one is the bigger one.

I proposed him we both to inquire what might be the internal drives of his clients in decision making process and the attitude of his subordinates towards their contribution to the company success. Despite of that he showed a bit underestimation of attitudes and his employees’ internal drives importance. Still he was ready to jump in it. Obviously it was his territory, as he knew his people. I was sure it is so because in my practice most of the managers actually had the proper instruments to run their business through focusing on people as well.

So we started to explore this reality – all the questions he had about these specific processes of hesitations and fluctuations of company’s external and internal clients. Because it concerns the human psychology and behavior – the personality – we would benefit more if take a look at this in details.

The old-hand of the human mind doctor Sigmund Freud propounded that using neurotic symptoms we could decode human behavior. They can be seen as “the royal road to understanding the unconscious” (1900, p.608). This concept, by analogy, can be applied to the process of learning and understanding the business organizations as the corporate business thinking and behavior makes no exception. Just as every symptom on a personal level has explanatory function helping us to understand the individual’s behavior, so has every organizational act – from the executive board to lowest operational levels. This shows the determining mechanism hidden behind every organizational specific change or crisis. For example the repetition of certain issue in the workplace could suggest the existence of specific communicational distortion or team solving problem skills insufficiency.

The ability of the executive to identify in the nick of time all that processes can help him/her to define to which extend they could affect the company market performance and productivity. As a matter of fact the productivity of the staff which is most of the time the main focus of the executives could be really affected by employees’ attitude, sense of security, involvement, motivation, withdrawnness, etc.

It is very strange than why the executives sometimes do not show needed awareness, and tend to skip and pay no attention to those powerful signs of the company health.

By gaining a deep understanding of the human psychology and behavior, executives can find how to optimize overall strategy and business functions, architect new processes and design organizational functioning to achieve optimal business results with the teams they lead. In this respect the good coaching process creates more opportunities and makes the executives efficient.


Freud, S. (1900) Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works, Vol. IV, London: The Hogarth Press and The Institute of Psychoanalysis

How effective is your organization?