Josphat gets unflattering feedback from colleagues


I have spent the last couple of weeks trying to figure out how to avoid Amisi my life coach because I have not completed the actions he asked me to undertake the last time. Last time we met he asked me to ask about five colleagues and three people outside the office to give me honest feedback about how my work and life. He was rather specific about the questions saying I should ask them- what I am good at, what I am bad at and where they think I should improve. The first two colleagues laughed at me as one of them said:“I really do not understand all this self-help and coaching nonsense. It is just people trying to make money.” We got into a long debate about it before he finally agreed to give me his feedback. The feedback I got was rather shocking. Three of my colleagues told me that I need to “develop more spine” and become “faster in pushing back against authority.” These statements took me aback since I consider myself to be a ‘tough nut’ that does not take nonsense. The other challenge I realised is that I do not have that many people outside the office who can give some honest feedback about my character— maybe only Shiro and Gacheri — and those ones do not really make the cut. I decided to immerse myself in work so that I would not think the feedback I was receiving. Right now, I am so busy working on the mid-year review of my yearly objectives and also preparing half-year reports for the board. In the past, it has been very easy for all I had to do was to update the standard template we have been using.

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However, the new CEO came back and said that he found our approach “dull and too busy”. He said: “We need to shake things up and improve the look and feel.” This new direction meant I had to put in long hours to ensure that we met the new boss’s expectations.It was on one of those long evenings that my phone rang and I looked at my screen and realised that it was Amisi my life coach. He got straight to the point, “Josphat, I have been waiting for you to send me the work we agreed ahead our meeting”. I quickly responded, “unfortunately, I have not managed to finish, I have only gotten feedback from four people- I am only halfway done.” He then proceeded to give me what sounded like a fusion of counselling and lecturing saying,” I knew it would be hard to get feedback, but we must proceed on this journey. So send me the feedback and we shall see you Saturday same time.” My mind went into overdrive as I tried to figure out how to get out of the session-but all I could mumble was okay.So I had no choice but to send the feedback and then wait for Saturday.Shiro called me via Skype that evening after my call with Amisi — she looked very cheery as she told me about how “exciting and challenging” her new role. She noticed I was not overly excited about her stories and said, “babes, what’s up? You do not seem like yourself?” I decided to tell her everything from my homework with Amisi and my workload. I must say I always admire how Shiro responds to this corporate stuff. She proceeded to give me some rather interesting views about how I should approach feedback. She said,” you do not need to see yourself as perfect- no one is perfect, just face it head on and then you can improve.” She said, “I really think you should get a mentor also someone you can trust and be vulnerable with — I think you have trouble being vulnerable with Amisi. She might have a point but I asked her, “have you taken your own advice, do you have a mentor?” She said: “Of course I do, I have Janey within the company and I have Frank outside the company.” My mind went into overdrive again as I recalled that this Frank fellow is the one everyone said was having an affair with Shiro. Before I could interrogate this further she said: “I have to go we are going to a colleague’s house to break the fast, it is Ramadhan you know!”

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