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Friday, December 8, 2017

More Than a Learning Intervention, A Movement - Called to Coach: Abhishek Joshi - S5E35

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Abhishek Joshi.





Guest: Abhishek Joshi — "Employee Turned Entrepreneur”

  • 14 years of experience in OD, talent management and learning and development functions
  • Formerly L&D at IndiaMART / Max Life Insurance Company Ltd
  • Currently, the co-founder and practice head of Inpingoo - an experiential learning, behavioral science, and technology company that delivers learning and development.
  • Bridging the gap so that technology doesn’t hamper learning but instead develops/supports it

What is your strengths journey?

  • Achiever, Analytical, Connectedness, Relator, Individualization
  • Achiever - pushed him to do more with his results and motivated him to complete my coaching certification
  • Analytical - pushed him to learn more about the application of strengths and the different areas in which strengths can be applied. He read almost all the books published by Gallup. “Strengths-based development is a movement - not just an intervention - it has a limitless scope.”  He has used strengths with corporate individuals, non-working individuals, students.
  • Other “type tools” talk about how similar we are but Gallup celebrates differences by exploring how we can achieve more by being different. That really excited him.
  • L&D tend to share learning solutions - especially 1to1 coaching - which can be difficult if you do not relate to your clients. Gallup strengths helped me to better relate with others.  
  • The quality of the report was simple to understand which enables individuals to more quickly apply the results to their situations.

Tell me about your journey as a coach

  • Became a certified coach after leaving a company to start his own venture
  • The idea of coaching is something he’s always wanted to do
  • Try 1-on-1 coaching with the help of a framework that is easily understand and applied by clients - which is why he selected Gallup, especially for those clients who do not have a learning & development background.  “By looking at yourself positively, you can create an impact in your organization.”
  • Transforming a culture is possible with Gallup Strengths which can build commonality in a language and a positive/healthy environment. Gallup encourages you to share your results with others.  
Tell me about the application of Gallup Strengths - Is there a particular niche in which you have found is particularly easy to apply this to?
Yes - some specific niche areas exist. He presented strengths to a primary school where the founder of the school wanted to drive entire workforce in a positive manner to align them. To help them develop a culture of high engagement and appreciation. He started with 1on1 coaching with the founder of the school.  

After a few sessions, the school founder realized the potential of using a tool like the CliftonStrengths assessment. If someone can help identify their strengths and apply them to their workplace, then acceptance of self will increase and that will translate into their everyday work with students. They will be less guarded and increase enjoyment in their job. 

This is a long-term intervention - he’s still involved with the school. All the teachers talk with each other about their results and application of strengths in their jobs. Strengths-Based Teaching helped them to understand their application of strengths in their individual classrooms.

When you get into a school-based environment, is that a 1-on-1 approach or a program that can be integrated into the school?
I am the only coach involved so it starts with an introduction, follow-up workshop, and 1-on-1 coaching.

Any examples that come to mind about certifying other people?
I have a client who is a meticulous and detailed planner - which leads to a lot of stress (in work and life) and creates a stressful environment at home. He leads strongly with Discipline. He was living in the basement of his Discipline, though. 

I gave him a hypothetical situation - it’s Sunday and you have no plans. Your neighbor calls to tell you he’s coming over. The client responded - I’d tell him no because it hasn’t been planned. Second hypothetical situation - you’re scheduled to leave the house at 4pm but your family members are delayed by 15 minutes. He said he’d get frustrated because he wants things to be planned and occur on time. Abhishek talked to him about basements/balconies and blindspots - how Discipline can become a barrier. They started to create an action plan that he applied in his personal life - he still does things according to plan, but he has reduced his stress levels and increased enjoyment (which is reflected in his family’s comments to Abhishek).

You’re an entrepreneur and there is an element of the business angle to grow. What are the highlights of the strengths movement and where you think it’s headed?
If you consider the changes in the workplace, technology is very accessible. People learn a lot more by using the internet - they are each looking for something different. They are looking for meaning. “Coaching with strengths allows individuals to conduct introspection in a systematic manner. It is simple, visible, and consistent.” He has yet to have someone turn down an opportunity to learn about their strengths.

There is a robust science around the research of behavioral interventions / coaching, people may prefer coaching in-person, but what is the new thing in using technology for coaching? Or Technology-based learning?
His experience is that “technology in isolation is not successful when it comes to learning and development” (i.e., e-solutions). Clients do not relate when you only talk about tech solutions. When a coaching session is blended - for example, a coaching session should be followed up by technology resources so that they can follow up on their own learning without you needing to be present.  

Learning has to be a blended-environment.  There is learning and there is follow-up.  What are your recommendations on the ways to follow-up with clients?
Name it, claim it, aim it should be established in session one. He tends to do 2-3 sessions. This leaves clients with an understanding that it doesn’t stop in the sessions. Using the mobile app and the various youtube stations.

Are there any apps that help you stay connected with your clients or them with each other?

  • Apps within any organization that allows sharing videos, resources, and other mobile sharing
  • It is successful only if it is blended.

Tell me about the name of your company and the reason behind the name.

  • Impact = Inpingoo
  • As learning preferences are changing, we need to have more impact beyond just an intervention

Experiential learning - with the variety of strengths - have you combined these two concepts?
Mountain climber - he has been focusing on his strengths since childhood (without realizing it) and has been so successful! He was applying his strengths - and mostly in balcony version.  In coaching sessions, they discussed his achievements. “Find Your Everest” was created due to these coaching sessions - “strengths-based philosophy allows us to discover our Everests.” The mountain climber provides an example in the class about real achievements and helps Abhishek drive the message of strengths development.

How are you learning?  What’s working for you and how do you approach your learning?
I watch all the Called to Coach sessions, learning from other coaches, discover various aspects of strengths-based development (read all the books), examine/understand the conviction of individuals, surround yourself in the strengths publications/environment, learn the Gallup strengths terminology.

In a world of distractions, and claims that we are not thinking deeply, what kinds of things do you do to help shut out distractions?  How do you balance the constant input coming in vs. deep thinking?  With high Relator and Individualization, people are super important to you.  How do you balance that?
Abhishek has done theatre which required preparation and mastery. He realized a good facilitator/coach has to master the content. He internalizes everything - learn first and understand completely (Analytical).  

What do you think is the role of preparation/practice for a coach before their next session?
“When we see clients, for the first time, they may have gone through their report and started to conclude things.  You may be tempted to quickly get into solution mode...I try to avoid that because the naming, claiming, and aiming hasn’t happened yet for the client...I try to move them out of their conclusions just based on reading the report…”

Pooja - Yes, we must be cautious about the reality of individual’s results because we can make assumptions about people’s themes.  

Do you think there is an advantage to being an “outsider” to a business?
Always. When he’s hired by supervisors to develop their employees, the clients realize he is from the outside and just there for their development - no ulterior motive from him other than to help develop them.

Join us at the 2018 CliftonStrengths Summit to learn more about improving your workplace through strengths. Register today before early bird pricing ends! 

Visit Gallup Strengths Center to browse our myriad of products and learning opportunities for strengths-based development.

Continue the coaching conversation on Facebook and Twitter. It’s a great way to network with others who share a passion for strengths!

Register for future webcasts.


With over 14 years of experience, Abhishek Joshi is a really passionate and skilled expert in Leadership Development, Talent Management and Capability Development. He has held leadership roles and led Organisation Development, Talent Management and Learning and Development functions in businesses in industries from manufacturing to retail, FMCG, logistics, e - commerce, Life Sciences, Real Estate, and government. Abhishek also works extensively in the education sector with schools and colleges to drive strengths-based movements.

In his career, he has established leadership development academies, created talent management road maps, launched tech-based mobile learning solutions, worked as a master facilitator, training 1000+ trainers, conducting 200 + workshops and coaching approx. 100 executives.

Before starting his own venture, he worked as a Head of Learning and Development with IndiaMART.com (India’s largest online marketplace connecting buyers and suppliers) and established Learning and development function in the organisation. Prior to that, he worked as a Chief Manager of Learning and Development with Max New York Life. Currently, he works as a Co-founder and Practice Head of Leadership Development and Executive Coaching at "Inpingoo." Inpingoo is an organisation focused on 3 things a) experiential learning b) behavioural science and c) technology to deliver learning and development and organisational development solutions. 

Abhishek’s top 5 strengths are: Achiever | Analytical | Connectedness | Relator | Individualization

Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Rachel Carpenter, contributed to this post. 

1 comment :

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