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Lina gets her MCC credential from ICF

Posted on October 17, 2013 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (46)

Lina got her MCC credential awarded by ICF, making her one of the very few ICF Master Certified Coaches in the world (less than 700!). 

One another note, we also completed our Diploma in Coaching Supervision from CSA, UK this September in Sydney. It has been a journey that's taken close to a year to complete and we've had tremendous benefits as entreprenuers, coaches, and human beings in experiencing supervision from our own supervisors as part of the certification journey. 

If you are a coach, and would like to understand how supervision can help you in your practice, then email me for details on [email protected]

Check out our new site on Coaching Supervision

Posted on February 11, 2013 at 5:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Check our our new site on coaching supervision

Coaching Supervision

Posted on January 17, 2013 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)

As a Coach:

Are you feeling supported in your coaching practice — practically and emotionally?

Would you like to build on your coaching skills, learn new tools and techniques?

How would increased self–awareness assist you in your work?

Do you want to be the best coach you could possibly be?

Coachingsupervision enables the coach to be able to step back and get more perspectiveon their working practice. It can be seen more as encouraging the coach to get“Super Vision” and see more clearly the coaching relationship.

Coachingsupervision (CV) encourages development and growth in the coach by the use offeedback, direct guidance, challenge or role modeling.

The aim is to engage thecoach in active self awareness, development of skills and increased knowledgeof theoretical models. It provides the encouragement and support to help thecoach if they experience feelings of self doubt or insecurity.

Contact us for more details on [email protected] if you'd like more information.


Start 2013 with a valuable investment in yourself: ICF ACSTH accredited coach training program!

Posted on October 30, 2012 at 5:55 AM Comments comments (6)

We have finalized the dates for our first 2013 ICF ACSTH accredited 60 Hour program that leads to the ACC credential from ICF.  There is an in-person class in Bangalore in February (3 days) and in March (3 days). Completion of these 6 days enables you to attend mentor training and then apply for the ACC credential, provided you have logged or will log 100 hours of coaching. Email me on [email protected] for details and registration form.

ICF ACSTH 60 Hours In Person Training in Bangalore

Posted on July 3, 2012 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (4)

We are starting the last in-person batch for the ICF 60 Hours ACSTH approved programfor 2012.   This 6 day program will be executed in 3 sessions of 2days each (Friday and Saturday) across 3 months from September to November. Theclasses will be held in Bangalore, and will run from 10:00 am – 5:30 pm on eachday. Venue will be intimated separately.

 Sept 28 / 29 Friday/Saturday 

 October  26/ 27 Fri/Sat            

  November  23/24 Fri/Sat

 If you wouldlike to be part of this batch, then please do email me for registrationdetails.


Training Coaches in Bogor, Indonesia

Posted on May 17, 2012 at 2:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Here are some pictures of our coach training program conducted in Bogor and of the ICF Indonesia Coaching Summit.

Sri Lanka Coaches are Rockin'

Posted on May 3, 2012 at 3:40 AM Comments comments (0)

We had the pleasure of working with 11 wondeful coaches from Sri Lanka last week. They completed the ICF 60 ACSTH hours program. Their warmth and hospitality was overwhelming!  This group is also committed to setting up the ICF Sri Lanka chapter before the end of the year. Some pictures of this nice group are on our pictures gallery.

Completed in Finland ICF ACSTH 60 hours program - April 2012

Posted on April 13, 2012 at 9:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Lina and I just completed a 6 day 60 hours ACSTH program in Helsinki, Finland - working with 19 Finnish coaches and consultants. They were the most warm and friendly folks, in addition to being so talented. As life long learners, they spent their Easter holidays week in a classroom for 6 consecutive days, and spent evenings working through reading assignments. We wish this hard working folks all the best in their credentialing journey.  Check out some pictures in the photo gallery.

ICF Jakarta Chapter Inauguration & 2nd Coach Training in Bali

Posted on January 19, 2012 at 11:05 AM Comments comments (0)

In January 2012, we were privileged to be in Indonesia once again. I was honored to officially launch the ICF Jakarta chapter on behalf of the ICF Global Board of Directors. Then we moved to Bali, where Lina and I conducted the second batch of coach training for 25 wonderful and talented people from Indonesia.  Check out the photo gallery for some pictures :)

Coach Training in Tokyo - Japan

Posted on May 7, 2011 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)

We've just completed an intensive ICF ACSTH accredited coach training program in Tokyo. We had the opportunity to work with an amazing team of coaches who are committed to getting their ICF credential. They are one of the nicest bunch of people we've had the pleasure of working with. Tokyo is a fantastic city - so clean, disciplined, and very nice people.

Using Positive Psychology as an HRM process in Employee Engagement and Confidence Building ( Part 2)

Posted on January 10, 2011 at 2:12 AM Comments comments (1)

UsingPositive Psychology as an HRM process in Employee Engagement and ConfidenceBuilding ( Part 2)


Positive emotions: The Power behind Positive Psychology

        Like traditionalpsychologists, most managers would be skeptical about the role of positiveemotions in driving hard-core business performance.  While many progressive managers wouldintuitively believe in and even leverage the power of positive emotions at workthey are unlikely to be aware of the scientific validity of theirpractices.  Positive emotions are said tobroaden a person’s mindset and build enduring resources, a theory called‘broaden-and-build’ (Fredrickson, 2003; T. A. Wright, 2003).  Research and experiments have shown thatpeople who express positive emotions tend to live longer; those who feel goodare better at processing information and problem-solving whether at a diagnosisof disease or at securing better outcomes in a negotiation (Fredrickson, 2003).Thus feeling good can change people for the better by making them moreoptimistic, realistic, and socially sensitive. 

          While negativeemotions aggravate physiological changes due to stress and can contribute toheart disease, positive emotions can alleviate the negative impact of thesedestructive emotions(Fredrickson, 2003; Hamilton, Kitzman, & Guyotte,2006). Positive emotions move from individual to community level in “upwardspirals” that can transform communities into more “cohesive, moral andharmonious social organizations (Fredrickson, 2003);” they contribute toflow experiences that in turn encourage growth and development.


Flow theory

        A state of flowoccurs when an activity fully absorbs an individual in the present moment. Flowis an emotional state that is characterized by a holistic feeling of beingimmersed in an activity, a merging of action and awareness, concentratedattention, lack of self-consciousness, and a feeling of being in controlof one’s actions and environment (Csikszentmihalyi, year & Eccles &Wigfield, 2002). Both positive psychology and POB seek to create and recreateflow experiences because individuals who experience flow in life or at the workplacefind the experience intrinsically rewarding (Hunter & Csikszentmihalyi,2003; Shernoff, Csikszentmihalyi, Schneider, & Shernoff, 2003).  The positive feelings generated by flowexperiences invariably encourage personal growth as individuals seek toincrease the level of challenge and match it with the appropriate level ofskill (J. J. Wright, Sadlo, & Stew, 2006). Flow theory states that aconfluence of concentration, interest and enjoyment must happen for an activityto generate a flow experience.  Researchhas also shown that experiencing flow helps decrease stress and has a positiveinfluence on health (Hamilton et al., 2006).  

        In sum, positiveemotions have the power to significantly raise performance levels by addressingindividuals at a holistic level.  Managersmust change their philosophy so that they can use the emerging techniques thatscholarship and research in this field are bringing out.  An understanding of the scholarship behindthis movement is needed to build the courage of conviction to implement newways of dealing with people; therefore, before discussing various interventionsone must understand POS and POB.  


Positive Organizational Psychology (POS)

Positive OrganizationalPsychology (POS), like positive psychology, is a change in the paradigmof looking at an organization’s human factors?  In the old paradigm the organizationconsultant looked at what was wrong and then attempted to fix it;organizational behavior scholars presented various models for identifying problemareas and then providing solutions to repair the damage at either theorganization design level or at the employee level.  Change models such as ADDIE, Thomas Gilbert’sperformance matrix, Rummler-Brache model, and even ASTD’s HPI model assume thata ‘fix’ is needed. 

POS represents a newparadigm that focuses on developing human strengths, fostering vitality, andusing concepts of positive emotions and resilience to help cultivate superiorperformance at individual and organizational levels.  According to the leading thinkers of thisapproach (Bernstein, 2003) each word has a significance: positive refers to anaffirmative bias, a perspective that incorporates the abundance mentality andvirtuousness; organizational refers to the entire base of organization theorythat draw on positivity in organizations; and scholarship refers to therigorous academic discipline and scientific process to explain the variousaspects of positivity. 

        It is thiscommitment to the scientific research process that sets POS apart fromself-help and pop-psychology.  POSseeks to understand how characteristics like trustworthiness, resilience,humility, authenticity, respect and forgiveness, contribute to superiororganization and individual performance. Until the advent of positive psychology, these characteristics weretreated as soft factors that did not have any real impact on performancecompared to hard factors like business models, strategy, decision-makingmodels, financial strategy and so on. POS is in the process of scientifically documenting how positivephenomena impact business environments; it is not an exclusivist concept, itlooks at how structures, cultures, process, leadership and other organizationalfactors influence positive dynamics at the workplace (Bernstein, 2003).  When these principles and research aredirected at organizations in particular the study is called POB.  Before one discusses POB in greater detail,an understanding of how positive psychology deals with personality traits is inorder.




Would you like to get trained and credentialed as an Executive Coach?

Posted on January 4, 2011 at 1:08 AM Comments comments (0)

Consider adding value to your work and career by getting trained and credentialed as an Executive Coach!  We conduct a personal pathway program that gives you tremendous flexiblity to complete an ICF (International Coach Federation) approved program. We then mentor you till you get your ACC or PCC credential from ICF. All this at a cost that will surprise you when you compare it with other offerings. Email us on [email protected] so that we can send you details.

Using Positive Psychology as an HRM process in Employee Engagement and Confidence Building ( Part 1)

Posted on December 29, 2010 at 11:49 PM Comments comments (0)

UsingPositive Psychology as an HRM process in Employee Engagement and ConfidenceBuilding ( Part 1)

Lina Nangalia PCC & Dr. Ajay Nangalia PCC



For much of the 20thcentury, psychology’s focus has been to find what is wrong with the humancondition and then look at ways to fix the problems. While it may not have beenthe original intent, human problems and behavior are largely seen from anegative maladaptive perspective (Karwoski, Garratt, & Ilardi, 2006;Luthans, 2002). This paradigm seeped into the way organizational theorists lookat organizations as well: there are problems that need to be fixed. Theproblems could either be in the design of the organization, its strategy or itspeople (managers and employees).  Fewlook at what is right in these systems; there is no significant attempt toidentify strengths and build on them despite the lip service given by mostChief Executive Officers; that people are their greatest asset. Thisframework is changing dramatically with the coming of age of positivepsychology.  However, it is critical that duringthis period of sustained economic slowdown, HR professionals look at positivepsychology as an Organization Development approach to build employee confidenceand maintain employee engagement. 


       The focus of positivepsychology is to look at what is right in the human condition and to use thisas a platform to help people achieve their full potential (Snyder &McCullough, 2000).  The objective is notto fix problems but to take performance to a whole new level by understandingcharacteristics that are inherently good in human beings for example, trust,resilience, character, ethics, gratitude, love and so on.  This paper seeks to understand positivepsychology in greater detail and to explore how it is making an impact inorganizational behavior studies. The focus will be to explore how line managersand organization development (OD) consultants can use the philosophy andpractice of this new paradigm to combine business results with the holisticdevelopment of the individual duringthis period of economic slowdown, when confidence levels are low and anxiety ishigh among employees.


Positive psychology –A background             

Martin Seligman andMihalyi Csikszentmihalyi initiated the momentum for positive psychology.According to them, positive psychology “is about identifying and nurturingtheir (people) strongest qualities, what they own and are best at, and helpingthem find niches in which they can best live out these strengths” (Seligman& Csikszentmihalyi, 2000, p. 6 quoted in Luthans, 2002).  Positive psychology studies the impact ofsubjective experiences such as well being, contentment with the past, flow andhappiness in the present, hope and optimism for the future at the level of individual,and community and organization (Hunter & Csikszentmihalyi, 2003; Luthans,2002; Pajares, 2001). Its therapy techniques are making inroads intotraditional cognitive-behavioral therapy for depression with encouragingresults (Karwoski et al., 2006). Researchers have also recognized the impact of enhancing positivepsychology characteristics such as optimism, cultivation of flow experiences,cultivation of hope and optimism and so on as valid therapeutic measures(Karwoski et al., 2006) in the treatment of depression. 

        The positivepsychology movement has spurred two offshoots: positive organizationalscholarship (POS) and positive organizational behavior (POB) (Luthans &Youssef, 2004).  POS emphasizes positiveorganizational characteristics that enhance an organization’s competitivenessand POB is the application of positive human strengths and psychologicalcapacities that contribute to human performance improvement at the workplace.These include capacities like self-efficacy, confidence, hope, optimism,resilience and so on.  Luthans andYoussef (2004) refer to these capacities as positive psychological capital thatunlike fixed dispositional or trait-like qualities can be developed throughworkplace interventions and effective management practices.

An essential difference betweenPOB and many ‘feel-good’ interventions conducted at the workplace is the stressPOB places on assessing, measuring and scientifically recording the impact ofthese efforts so that a return on investment can be calculated (Pajares, 2001).  The scientific rigor will appeal tomanagement who often times are not sure about the long-term benefits of‘feel-good’ activities; thus training budgets are the first to get cut during abusiness downturn – a time when supporting people is even more critical.  The focus on being accountable for resultsalso ties in with the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD)’sHuman Performance Improvement model for organization change (Stolovitch &Keeps, 2003 February). The challenge is to convince management that the centralthesis of positive psychology – the power of positive emotions – isscientifically valid.

To be continued....



Part 3 (Conclusion): The importanceof Culture in Matrix Organizations

Posted on October 18, 2010 at 3:44 AM Comments comments (0)

This paper was writtenby Lina Nangalia PCC as part of her doctoral work at XLRI, Jamshedpur.


Part 3: The importanceof culture in Matrix Organizations

(Levin& Gottlieb, 2009), remind us that a culture is the shared beliefs andvalues of its members that provide meaning and influence daily work life.  The authors discuss six principles and eightpractices that can help leaders realign their organizational cultures tosupport strategic change goals.  The sixprinciples are:

·      understand the required scope of change;

·      model, teach, and embed;

·      use multiple levers;

·      create broad involvement of key organizationalconstituencies;

·      manage with rigor and discipline;

·      and integrate into daily work life. 


Leaders who want tobuild and align the culture of their organizations need to keep these sixprinciples in mind as they lead the change effort.  The authors summarize eight practices whichcan help leaders align their organizational culture to their businessstrategy.  These practices are:

·      establish infrastructure and oversight;

·      define the preferred culture;

·      conduct culture gap audit;

·      ensure leadership modelling;

·      manage priority culture realignment levers;

·      promote grassroots efforts;

·      integrate into priority strategic initiatives;

·      and finally, assess progress. 

Building a culture isa long term endeavour that demands endurance and unyielding focus – there areno quick fixes. 

A five window cultureassessment framework which presents a map for directing cultural inquiry andoffers techniques for facilitating organization members’ interpretation ofcommon organizational events, routines, and preferred way of doing things isdescribed by (Levin, 2000).  The five windows present themes which helpunderstand the complex whole that is culture. The five windows are leadership, norms and practices, stories andlegends, traditions and rituals and organization symbols.  Through the leadership window one learns thepersonal values and beliefs of significant past and present leaders.  Through the norms and practices window oneunderstands the ‘unwritten’ rules of expected conduct and beliefs about howwork should be managed.  Organizationalstories and legends are the folklore and oral traditions of theorganization.  Traditions and rituals arethe repetitive and structured practices which place the culture on visibledisplay and dramatize important beliefs and values.  Organizational symbols include the array ofcultural artefacts such company’s logo, marketing slogans, design of officespace and dress code.  This framework canbe used to help an organization move its culture in the desired direction. 

In addition toculture, the success of matrix structures is influenced by the dominantcoalitions present in the organization. These coalitions can help or hinder thedevelopment of an enabling culture.

How do DominantCoalitions influence goal attainment within matrix structures?

A dominant coalitionconsists of the network of individuals within and around an organization thatmost influence the mission and goals of the organization (Cyert & March, 1992). Stevenson et al., (1985) defined a coalitionas an interacting group of individuals, deliberately constructed, independentof the formal structure, lacking its own internal structure, consisting ofmutually perceived membership, issue oriented, focused on a goal or goalsexternal to the coalition, and requiring concerted member action.  Coalitions are explicitly created by theirmembers for a specific purpose; this self-conscious formation and designdistinguishes them from other informal groups. Since coalitions lack a hierarchy of formal legitimate authority theirdecision making and conflict resolution depends on the informal influence amongmembers.  The key characteristic of acoalition is their attempt to operate in a concerted manner outside of theformal organizational structure (Stevenson,Pearce, & Porter, 1985).

In any organization,the distribution of power is influenced by the dynamic between the structureand behaviour. The structure of an organization provides access to and controlof resources, while the behaviours to acquire and use those resources areoccurring. Power in an organization can flow from the hierarchical level in anorganization (authority or legitimate power) or from the network position, aninformal source of power. Often, people in a position to mediate or control theflow of information in an organization can use that information to acquirepower by forming dominant coalitions, or exchanging the information for otherdesired outcomes (Brass &Burkhardt, 1993). Often, the dominant coalition maintains an influence on goals throughinformal, rather than formal, channels thereby allowing individuals other thanformal leadership to manipulate the goals of the organization; this can be doneby the control that dominant coalitions have on resources such as physicalresources, capital, or possession of tacit knowledge (Bowler, 2006). In the dominantcoalition model of team collaboration, a coalition of members directs theprocess of information extraction and decision-making; often, the coalitionwill make choices that promote the coalition's interests and protect itsdominance (Jenssens & Brett, 2006). However, this canaffect an organization’s competitiveness which requires a free flow ofinformation amongst all its members (Hatala& Lutta, 2009; Sy & D'Annunzio, 2005).

Bowler (2006) warns that when thegoals of the dominant coalition contradict those of the formal leadership, thestated goals of the organization often do not match the actual behaviour of theorganization.  At times, someorganizations pursue altered versions of their stated goals because of theinformal force of the dominant coalition. The goals of the dominant coalition also influenced an individual’sattention and focus on project; for example an individual will give moreattention and focus on what is seen as priority by dominant coalition membersand procrastinate on other projects.   


The objective of thispaper was to understand what literature says about the characteristics ofmatrix organizations, the influence of culture on the success of effectivematrix functioning, and the influence of dominant coalitions in matrix structures.From the literature review presented above, it is clear that matrix structuresdo present challenges in terms of misaligned goals, unclear roles andresponsibilities, ambiguous authority, lack of a matrix guardian and silofocused employees. Furthermore, literature brings out that the culture of aneffective matrix organization is different from that of a traditionalstructure. The elements needed for effective matrix functioning require matureleadership that is willing to function in a collaborative mode, share power,manage ambiguity, and develop emotional intelligence.

Many IT companies inIndia are known to focus exclusively on developing technical prowess, notunderstanding that many project challenges are caused by unhealthyinter-personal relationships and a culture that does not encouragecollaboration across silos. Culture in such companies is often influenced bydominant coalitions. Literature alerts us to the negative impact that suchcoalitions can have in undermining the stated goals and values of theorganization. The results from this study, when completed, will contribute tothe knowledge base by understanding how matrix structures function in an Indiancontext. 



Part 2: Challenges in Matrix Structures that can be addressed by Executive Coaching

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 4:12 AM Comments comments (1)

This paper was writtenby Lina Nangalia PCC as part of her doctoral work at XLRI, Jamshedpur.


Part 2:  Challenges in Matrix structures that can beaddressed by Executive Coaching


     According to (Wellman, 2007), the matrix structurediffers from traditional organizational structure in three ways: it disregardsthe unity of command since individuals report to at least two managers; itencourages integration of labour rather than division of labour; and finally itchallenges traditional hierarchies since technical experts are viewed as starathletes and management is viewed like the coach of the team.  This means that the culture in matrixorganizations would differ from that of traditional organizations.  Wellman explains that the matrix organizationexerts a powerful influence on culture in the following ways: 

First, ambiguity is afact of life as individuals are assigned to more than one program and are movedbetween programs as required. 

Second, there isongoing confusion about who their boss is in terms of the program manager orthe functional manager.  There iscontinual conflict over resources and continual changing of priorities.  Thus the leadership in matrix organizationsmust acknowledge and continually work to contain such anxiety.

Another aspect ofmatrix cultures is the time spent in discussion rather than quick decisionmaking.  It seems that each decision requiresa series of meetings.  Thus, consensusbuilding and the role of influence is a part of the matrix culture.  Leaders need to develop capable andexperienced managers who have the judgment and maturity to make decisionsthrough consensus and using influence. Leaders must also continually share organizational strategies andpriorities so that management decisions can be make within an appropriatecontext.

This author feels thatin many Indian IT organizations, many in the leadership team have not had adequatetime and exposure to develop the maturity required to manage large teams.Companies try to run short management development programs to develop theirmanagers but such quick fixes often fail to achieve results. A study by (Dunn, 2001) clearly brought outthat project managers had a significant responsibility of project teammembers.  They found that in a matrixstructure functional managers have influence over hygiene factors while projectmanagers have significant influence over the motivator factors.  The hygiene factors and motivators were asdeveloped by Fredrick Herzberg.

Explaining the impactof the human side of organization structure, (Sy& Cote, 2004) point out that it is not the organization structure that leads tobusiness success but the implementation of the interpersonal components;neglecting the interpersonal components contributes to a failing organizationalstructure.  They too point out that theinterpersonal challenges of managing in the matrix include misaligned goals andsilo focused employees.  They explainthat misaligned goals increase competition and therefore conflict amongemployees.  The inability of team membersto resolve conflicting goals leads to polarization of groups and impacts theentire unit’s performance.  The ambiguityabout roles and responsibilities creates discomfort and confusion amongstemployees.  Management is often not ableto clarify the employees’ roles and responsibilities due to the changingenvironment and expect that the employees would make the necessaryadjustments.  However, because employeesseek clarity, they find it difficult to make the necessary adjustments. 

The dual reportingstructures also lead to tension and conflict as leaders are unaccustomed toworking collaboratively and jockey for control and power.  This tension and conflict delays and impactsthe quality of decisions.  The quality ofdecision making is also affected by the prevalent silo focus.  While frequency of communication in matrixforms is high, the quality of communication is low. 

Often cooperationlevels are low because employees behave in ways that benefit their subunit butare detrimental to the organization as a whole. Traditional organization structures do not require the high degree of collaborationthat is required in matrix structures. Therefore, employees have not developedthe interpersonal skills that are necessary to work in an interdependentenvironment.  

Even leaders who arecomfortable operating with a ‘command and control’ mindset that works well intraditional hierarchical organizations are unable to use influencing skills andbuild networks for cooperation that are essential in a matrix structure.  The authors recommend that developing theemotional intelligence of team members will enable more effective functioningof the matrix as concerned individuals learn to develop and manage their socialrelationships at work. 

Emotionallyintelligent individuals are able to manage their frustration and stress as theydeal with misaligned goals; they have the ability to prevent their frustrationsfrom making their discussions unproductive. Emotionally intelligent individuals are able to remain calm andaccurately predict how anxiety can impact discussions by noticing the tensionin themselves and in others.  They manageanger and other unproductive emotions which can affect the quality ofdecisions.  Their strong empathy enhancesthe quality of their social relationships and helps reduce their silo focus.  According to the authors emotionalintelligence can be improved through training and development programs such ascoaching and 3600 feedback.

This author has hadconsiderable success in improving the behaviours of senior leadership teammembers through executive coaching. However, getting the matrix organization tofunction effectively needs more than just development of a few key executives,it needs a culture change. The importance of culture is explored next in Part3.