The Cultural Synergist

Insights for the month with Dr Tom Verghese
The Cultural Synergist- Insights for the month

July 2023

Issue # 183

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I was very fortunate to take some time out and visit Ningaloo reef in Western Australia earlier this month. It is in a remote and vast area which I have never been to before and I travelled with a group of friends to snorkel the famous reef and see the whale sharks that inhabit the area. Given the remoteness of the area it was wonderful to disconnect and enjoy the benefits of being offline for a while.

As you would expect, the beaches and scenery of the place are incredible. Our trip by boat to the reef was impressive as was the snorkelling experience. I am not naturally confident in the water, and I was deeply appreciative of the support and patience the staff showed as they were highly competent in their instruction and guidance. This made my experience richer and deeper. When I reflected on that further I also observed the degree to which I allowed myself to trust and be guided by them. This quality is coachability.

When working with clients as an executive coach, it is always interesting to notice the different levels of coachability they have. Some are much more receptive than others to trying new things and moving out of old habits. Naturally, leaders in executive roles are there because they are good at what they do. They tend to be bright and make good judgement calls. However sometimes this means they are less open to guidance and change and hence, reluctant to try new behaviours and perhaps appear incompetent. Accepting the mindset of a learner, being open and willing to make mistakes is part of the process. It is valuable to be aware of this when receiving guidance and coaching to ensure that you are making the most of the interaction.

What is your level of coachability?


Quote of the month:


"We don't receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.”

- Marcel Proust


Book recommendation:




50 Questions Inclusive Leaders Ask, Diane Johnson Flynn & Dr Alexandria White

A practical guide for staying current in today's ever-changing workplace. This book addresses real, raw, authentic questions in the spirit of calling people into the conversation. It provides helpful tools and discussions as well as empathetic approaches to building inclusive cultures in any organization.

This book is an excellent tool for any leader who is working to create a more inclusive environment and grow the cultural intelligence of a company or team. All leaders could benefit from understanding the power of inclusivity and the authors capture this in a way that anyone could use and learn from.