Sunday, August 23, 2009
I had the good fortune to meet with a business coach who is a member of a new coaching network we are setting up locally. Our initial meeting came at the end of a set meeting that I confess had me a little bummed... while coaches are working to advise businesses, it seems that the advice - or the areas covered by many coaches - does not stretch to address anything to do with the online world, or the tools that we use online to promote and further the better outcomes of clients.
No matter, that is my area of interest, and will remain so.
Fortunately my companion emanated a ray of hope at the other side of the table and as sometimes happens, we shared a spark of recognition and quickly established some rapport. Forward to our meeting, it is clear that we share an interest in many things, and from a business point of view, perhaps the most encompassing way to describe this would be: A Values Match.
If you are networking in your business, attending meetings and workshops, and the like, I would urge you to step outside of the set functions and get together with people on a one-on-one basis to learn about the "who is" of that person. Time and again in network groups, I see things stall and invariably the question arises "why isn't this working?". To me the answer seems simple. There is not the engagement on a personal level, or a meeting of the critical issue - a desire to arrive at a common outcome between participants. Vital to discovering a point where interests converge, seems to me to require - and this is certainly true for me - a shared value system. Until you really get to know someone, you cannot know if the values of the other person is a match. Without that... there is no real way to go forward.
But back to my meeting. Meeting new people opens us up to all kinds of new learnings. I learned about a book that was important to my companion some years ago, and it seems like something that would be of particular interest to me too, since architecture and engineering are facets of life that I think we can find use for in all kinds of contexts. The structure of business, and the way that we engineer strategies to find solutions to problems that we want to overcome, is critical to a solution focus. And relate very closely to the name I chose for my coaching business, namely Design Business Engineering. If you believe that waiting for things to just happen by chance is not a very good strategy for building a successful business, then that might make sense to you too.
It also brought me to discussing NLP for the first time in a very long time. I have been a student of NLP since I took my first training in 1997 and for me now it is just an integral part of 'what I do' and I don't really bring it up as a subject in my coaching, unless clients are familiar with it. Instead I find it easier to bring to bear as and when the tools are appropriate in the context of my work with clients, which are essentially in the first instance, relating to business, but inevitably overlap with personal beliefs and strategies of the business owner client. So I confess, I chuckle to myself when I hear people refer to themselves as being a 'neuro linguistic programmer' as it seems about as useful as referring to oneself as a 'user of petrol' or an 'eater of eggs'... I do lots of things, and have lots of interests and use lots of tools. These do not, I hope, define me.
I look forward to learning more about my new colleague. I can already see some (pardon the word) synergy between us and perhaps I may begin to write some more on the topic of NLP than I have done in recent times.
Watch this space.
And go learn about some of your network partners.
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