Lalita Raman is a highly accredited executive coach, facilitator and organizational change consultant.
With an extensive background in finance, she has direct experience in high-stress leadership environments – and she uses that experience to help her clients build self-awareness and communication skills.
Who does Lalita Raman work with?
Lalita works primarily with executives and senior middle-management, helping them deal with anxiety, stress and feeling overwhelmed by their responsibilities.
How does Lalita Raman help her clients?
Lalita generally works with leaders in ‘transitional periods’. “Maybe they’ve gone from managing 5 people to 45 – that creates a lot of anxiety for people,” she says. By increasing their emotional intelligence and addressing their skills and weaknesses, she helps them adapt to the new role in a healthy and effective way.
As an example, she explains that some leaders in this position don’t feel comfortable admitting that they don’t know things – feeling pressure to be fully competent from the start. But by enabling them to feel comfortable expressing their insecurities, they actually build competency much more quickly.
How does Lalita Raman approach coaching?
For Lalita, the coaching process often begins with a set of interviews with the coachee’s colleagues. “You select perhaps 10 people and undertake unstructured interviews, just to get a sense of the coachee’s strengths and weaknesses,” she explains. “Then the first session we have together will be going over the data from these interviews.”
Much of the process focuses on helping the coachee to develop their own strategies for dealing with their problems. “I’m not an advisor,” she says. “These are senior people who know what they’re doing. As a coach, I’m like a sounding board or a thinking partner. The idea is they bounce ideas off me, and eventually, that helps them arrive at an effective solution.”
She draws a distinction between training and coaching. “Training teaches you a lot of skills,” she says. “But that might not actually be sustainable. Coaching happens over a period of time, and you support a client throughout that period so that eventually, they habituate the change and it sticks.”
Much of this is about creating space for “reflective inquiry”. And ultimately, by reflecting in this way, Lalita finds her clients not only make the changes they need to – they understand on a deeper level why those changes are necessary, which is hugely important to make the change last.