Neville Guant wrote a comment to my last blog post asking the question, “…all your readers and mine … know it already. So what stops them acting and succeeding?” This is a really good question and I guess one of my answers would be that I’m glad they don’t act, because that’s what keeps me and other coaches busy! Funny, but unfortunately too true. The reality is, in the context about which I was writing, for the most part, business owners and leaders (I include coaches in that group, as I commented last week) know about finding their niche and focusing their business marketing on it. They just need a push to do it, they are so busy being busy that they can’t slow down to look around them lest they fall too far behind. It’s like that old cartoon of two of guys pulling a cart with square wheels. They pass another guy holding a round wheel, but they won’t stop because “can’t you see we are busy”?
My experience is that when I get a client to slow down and take time for themselves, it not only refreshes them, they also have an opportunity to “think”, become more innovative and introspective. It is fascinating to see these individuals explore what it means to have an hour or two per week just for themselves. Getting them to focus on where their attention should be placed, whether it’s in operations or marketing, can also be scary for them. Again as I stated in my post, there is a fear that if they focus too much on a specific, narrow niche they will miss other opportunities. However those who have done this report that the reverse is actually true: that opportunities find them. I can attest to this personally.
It can be as Neville further notes “behaviour” waste. I assume he is referring to those less-than-efficient behaviours we develop that tend to provide more of distractions than efficiencies. Recognizing these negative behaviours for what they are and then working to modify and in some case eliminate them becomes a significant project. Again, this is where having a coach is valuable. The coach works with the individual first to identify and then to work towards the desired change. It is a process, a journey that takes time and patience. It’s not that an individual can’t do this by themselves, but it has been my experience that one’s coach becomes an “accountability partner”, a sounding board as they go through the process. The coach is there to help the client stay on track and to ask those clarifying questions to get them to think about their actions and the effects they have. And if it is efficiency and effectiveness that are looking for, working with a coach will definably provide that.
Thanks for the comment Neville – anyone else?
John Whitehead, coaches’ individuals and organizations in becoming more effective by helping them improve their interpersonal communications, emotional intelligence and resiliency.
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