Subscription Subscription
Home > Mumbai Guide News > Things To Do News > Article > Like PM Modis coalition government experts decode how leaders can manage diverse personalities at the workplace

Like PM Modi's coalition government, experts decode how leaders can manage diverse personalities at the workplace

Updated on: 10 June,2024 10:46 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Anindita Paul |

Beyond the sphere of politics, successful coalitions are the hallmark of successful workplaces. Leadership coaches break down how leaders can manage diverse interests and agendas

Like PM Modi's coalition government, experts decode how leaders can manage diverse personalities at the workplace

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, N Chandrababu Naidu, and Nitish Kumar at last week’s coalition meeting at the PM’s residence in New Delhi. Pic/PTI

Even as the dust settles in the aftermath of the 2024 Lok Sabha general elections, all eyes are now on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who will have to form a coalition with allies under the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to move forward and form the next government. But this isn’t the only instance where successful coalitions play a pivotal role — contemporary workplaces often comprise professionals with varying skillsets, attitudes and, often, priorities. 

To emerge as a successful professional and leader in such ecosystems, you must master the art of workplace coalition politics, which involves ensuring that all 
stakeholders feel represented and heard, while also staying true to your own priorities. And, it’s most important that this interplay eventually contributes to the overall success of the organisation. 

Share the credit for achievements among all contributors Share the credit for achievements among all contributors 

If that seems like a delicate balance, that’s because it is. We spoke to leadership coaches to help us simplify this lofty task.

Seeing eye-to-eye

“Coalitions are an everyday reality for modern workplaces. Even at the very top, the CEO needs the support of the leadership team and the board of directors to function. But these coalitions become challenging when individuals with similar or close to similar power centres have differing agendas. For instance, while the CFO might want to prioritise stability and not rock the boat with any ambitious or abrupt moves, the CEO might want to take advantage of the market and try something new and potentially risky,” explains leadership coach Ankoor Naik. He adds that if the two are not able to see eye-to-eye over a period of time, it could lead to instability within the organisation. “In this example, the CEO, who has more power than the CFO, might try to bulldoze his/her way through the leadership when consensus is not achieved. In return, the CFO may drag their feet and keep stalling, in a bid to undermine the CEO. 

Seek inputs from all stakeholders involved, and align them. Representations picsSeek inputs from all stakeholders involved, and align them. Representations pics

The ultimate brunt of this ‘cold war’ is borne by the teams who must act on the CEO’s agenda. They may not receive the funds or approvals and, once the news of the rift percolates into the lower ranks, employees will begin to take sides,” he warns. Ultimately, this could hurt the business, the image of the organisation in the market, and even lead to attrition as juniors, seeking stability, begin to seek other alternatives.  

A fine balance

In order to achieve your goals at the workplace, especially at the mid and senior management levels, you must be able to garner support from and collaborate with colleagues from other functions, says leadership mentor Rishi Piparaiya. The key to garnering such support is sharing, he adds, outlining four major 
areas of focus:

1 Share your vision: Have a clear vision, seek inputs from the other constituents and stakeholders, and align them. 

2 Share ownership: All the key stakeholders should have some role to play in executing your vision. To ensure seamless execution, it’s important to communicate well and often to those involved. All your team members should be updated and be familiar with the plan. Equally, focus on listening to the challenges faced by your colleagues from other departments, and share what you can do to help resolve them. Be open to these discussions. 

3 Share your boundaries: Be clear when setting expectations with your colleagues — let them know how you will operate, how you expect things to be done and also what they can expect from you.

4 Share credit: Avoid taking credit for the work that has been achieved by many. Celebrate the successes of others and also take responsibility for when things don’t go the right way. Be prepared to hold others accountable as well.

It’s crucial to strike the right balance in terms of how much you involve yourself in your workplace’s politics. If you are too focused on managing your boss, you run the risk of getting nothing done. Conversely, if you are extremely detached, and only want to do your bit and leave the rest to chance, you may miss out on valuable opportunities for growth, explains Piparaiya. 

Rishi Piparaiya and Ankoor NaikRishi Piparaiya and Ankoor Naik

Managing crises

In case the senior management is unable to see eye to eye, Nair recommends bringing in an external or internal mediator who can align the C-suite (top management positions in an organisation) and those working at one level below the C-suite in the same direction. “The person managing this alignment should be emotionally mature in order to collaborate with multiple stakeholders and make sure their diverse interests are managed, if not met. Training workshops across departments also helps to break down the walls and build empathy — the workshop coordinator can create situations where team members have to step into the shoes of their colleagues from other teams and understand their pressures and challenges,” he adds.

Coalition red flags

Keep an eye out for these warning signs of misalignment, says Naik

. Delays in project delivery and salaries

. Cash flow issues: while short term cash flow issues are understandable, when these issues persist over a period of time while the market is healthy, it may have to do with operational roadblocks caused by differing agendas

. Attrition, especially when a senior leader quits without explanation 

. Multiple projects getting cancelled, one after the other

Recurring arguments in a team can indicate bigger problemsRecurring arguments in a team can indicate bigger problems

. Conflicts in the senior management: although some disagreements are typical in a team of passionate professionals, massive and recurring disagreements are a cause for concern

. Passive-aggressive behavior

Watch out for signs of low morale among your employees Watch out for signs of low morale among your employees 

. The atmosphere in the organisation feels low or dampened: Employees complain for feeling drained or deflated when they enter the workplace.

. Funding and investments not coming through

"Exciting news! Mid-day is now on WhatsApp Channels Subscribe today by clicking the link and stay updated with the latest news!" Click here!

Register for FREE
to continue reading !

This is not a paywall.
However, your registration helps us understand your preferences better and enables us to provide insightful and credible journalism for all our readers.

Mid-Day Web Stories

Mid-Day Web Stories

This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK