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A man on the way to self-destruction

Concerns of the director

The position of regional director in a global company is vacant. The sales director is very successful. At least successful in his sales, but many complains about his style of management: very aggressive. Unacceptable.

His presentations at the Global company meetings are weird, people laugh without him realizing why. He position himself sometimes that strong that others stay away from him.

The director offers him a last opportunity to make a change in his personal behavior. In the past he changed jobs when the heat rises. Other coaching trajectories failed. The sales manager is offered a coaching trajectory.

The sales manager expresses in the first meeting that the complains of the director are exaggerated.


Based on the talks with the director, the HR manager and the sales manager a hypothesis was formulated on what is going on.

1. The sales manager thinks very high of himself and expect all to except his outbursts of, mostly, verbal violence. ‘Behaving aggressive’ is normal in all situations even physical actions are part of his repertoire.

2. Till now he got away with these behaviors because no one draw a border with severe consequents if he crossed it. In practice he manage others to accept his misbehavior with a ‘sorry’.

3. There will be a lot going on in his personal dynamics based on experiences in his past

Intervention design

Focus on

- …..behavioral change, minor on personality change

- ……two situations: the situations that he sales manager explodes in a aggressive way and the situation in which he is not surrounded by his own people: the global meetings.

- …..recognition of the cues that build up tension and lead to an explosion; learn actions that break the chain of actions leading to the outburst

- …..learn actions to pay respect to others and understand others.

-…… exploring what makes his life worth living. Values and persons.


The aim is to bring the person from massive denial of having a problem to realizing he is the source of a lot of trouble. This can only be realized with constant intense interactions with the coaches and he active every day with his trajectory. Many observations, reflections actions and dialogues with others in his private life and in the company. The attitude of the coaches will be accepting him as he does, non judgmental. With a focus on open inquiring: when? where? what?

Sketch of a trajectory

Intensive and focussed: eight weeks total time span.

A four hour meeting as a startup with two coaches. Every day exercises and e reports to the coach. Every week a face-to-face meeting of two hours with one of the coaches. A halfway session of four hours with both coaches and after eight week a closing four hour meeting.

From day one the sales manager is in detail instructed to observe all the steps in his building up tension; practice chain breaking interventions; applicate these interventions at the frist cues of building up tension

Ongoing attention to the effects of his behavior on others. Asking for feedback.

In the second half of the trajectory attention to acting in the global meeting.

The trajectory

He composed his ‘Self’ according to the method of the self-compositioning. Ambivalent feelings to his father. Admiration for his performances and blaming him for not giving any praise, only pushing for a higher performance. The feelings of anger towards his father were not put into words, verbally denied although present in his body while talking about him. In contrast a mentor in his study abroad who accepted him as he was. He felt always completely relaxed in his presence. This person, always present in the corner of his eyes, is used as a trigger to relax.

The first four weeks step by step 1. recognising the raise of tention and practice relaxing methods (the one minute meditation); 2. recognising cues in the situation that give rise to tention. Reframing and connecting to the relaxing exercise. (breaking the chain of events); 3. recognising the frequency of his outbursts and ask others on their experience of his behavior; 4. exploring most important relations in his life

In these weeks he jumped like a monkey in a tree to all topics in an overwhelming speed. Dared to put all question on his behavior. Dared to show more and more what he actually and accepted the feedback of others. This was all not directly instructed. It resulted in the second half of the trajectory that he began to restore the relationship with his wife. Most important he began to start up a new relation with his son of 15, who had given him the signal: “when you go on as you do now, I do not want you any more”.

We continued in the trajectory to instruct him to describe what he does, how he tries te get controle and to ask for feedback. He described we asked him to do. In reality he did much more. Investigated all important relations and initiated more talks on his behavior.

In the second half of the trajectory we continue to explore all situations that give rise to tention. Newly we focus on the Global Meeting situation. In role plays he prepared for several presentations, dialogues in this forum. He evaluated his performance out of the perspective of the global situation. A very difficult step, as he was not used at all to see him self from the perspective of another.

In the closing meeting he opened up on the relation with his son. In this session he made an appointment with his son, on invitation of his son.


This man is successful in life and business because he is used to organise all according his own ideas and needs. Actually he did this in this trajectory too. He accepted guidance in the behavioral intervention trajectory but did much more in restoring all relations and accepting his aggressive behavior as disruptive. Step by step changing to a more cooperative attitude.

Half way the trajectory a HR officer observed he ‘changed from a roaring wolf into a silent sheep’. At the end he takes initiatives to restore broken relations.

Ton Voogt

Wufeng Tan

Januari/March 2015

This case is based on a real case. Our intention is not to describe this real case so we changed details. Our intention is to show how we handle specific questions and design unique trajectories and contribute in the execution.

© 2018 TonVoogtConsultancy ~ Recent Update 24-08-2017
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