009 & 010: The Future of Work with Hala Beisha

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Resources

How to get in touch with Hala

LinkedIn: Hala Beisha

Twitter: @HalaBeisha

Instagram: Hala Beisha

Website: http://www.resilliencefactor.com/

Hala’s Research

Click on the picture to read Hala’s research paper

Click on the picture to read Hala’s research paper

Part 1

Intro

Fabian Luetzig: Welcome to the Global Campfire of Coaching, an ongoing discussion between coaches, coachees and anybody else interested in the Art and the Science of coaching, spreading information and exchanging opinions so that we learn and grow together as a community. I’m Fabian Luetzig.

Before I introduce today’s guest, I would like to share with you that you can be a part of this show: If you have a comment on something that was said in an episode, if you have a question for one of my guests or for me or if you want to share a success – getting your ACC, taking the next step in your business, finding an amazing coach for yourself – get in touch on Skype by either typing or, even better, leaving a voice mail.

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Joining us at the campfire today is Hala Beisha.

Hala is a designer, communicator and change leader. She brings a unique set of skills and experiences that are at the intersection of business, entrepreneurship, foresight, leadership coaching and innovation. With an MBA in strategic management and a Master of Design in Foresight and Innovation, She is a certified leadership and executive coach accredited by the International Coach Federation ACC. She is the Principal and Founder of Resilience Factor and looks at evidence based practices to help professionals improve their workplace intelligence.

She works one on one with clients at leading companies to help professionals improve their leadership skills, navigate challenges, find meaning and navigate the the fast changing world of work. She works with clients to identify “leverage points” and amplify what is working in highly complex and transforming workplace such as  scaling tech companies, construction firms, busy hospitals and growing law firms.  

She provides ongoing feedback and actionable best practices to guide skill development. She draws from the latest research in management theory and performance and coaching to produce tangible and lasting positive change. She also works with clients at different points in their career to figure out their next iteration and future direction by taking a closer look at what truly drives and motivates them.

Interview

Hala Beisha: Actually, I was in a workshop in an Organizational Behavior class looking at team dynamics while I was working on my MBA a number of years ago.

I remember the program was very demanding, there was a lot of group work, there was a lot pressure, intensity around managing tight deadlines, wanting to produce a product and really wanting to deliver.

I remember the professor giving us scripts. It was literally a script. “This is what coaching is going to look like/ feel like. I want you to work with your partner on reading these lines and asking them these open-ended questions.”

My first thought was: “Hm, this is overly simplistic…” but I think what it really demonstrated is that in that 10-15 minutes exercise, having someone there, sit and listen with curiosity, with an openness and also to ask powerful questions around how was I really doing – it really opened up, it was like this little door of light.

I was like “Oh my god! How have I never heard of this in a formalized way (well, I had heard of it, but I had never experienced it).” That’s how it all started, I was like “There has to be a better way for me, for us, for all of us, to work in teams better, to show up better and to be able to manage a lot of the demands that we have on our schedules and our time, both personally and professionally.”

Fabian Luetzig: Something that really stood out to me when you were just describing that is that you were in an environment that had a lot of pressure going on, right? It was time pressure, there was pressure to deliver – and despite that, or maybe even because of that, the professor took some time in order to introduce coaching.

I’m just pointing that out, because one of the objections that I hear when I talk about coaching is “I don’t have time for that right now, I’m so busy!” I’m curious, how was that for you in that moment, when you were very busy and there was the pressure to deliver? How did the coaching play into that?

Hala Beisha: It actually felt as if time expanded. Not to sound philosophical, but it was a slowing down of time. It was that 5 minutes where I could just disconnect and answer those questions. I think the act of sharing with someone verbally what is going on, really allows someone to almost unpack pieces of the puzzle that you’re putting down on the table. You’re looking down on the pieces. The person in front of me wasn’t overly trained or really knew the process of coaching intimately, but what they did know was that they were going off a script. The most important thing is that they were willing to engage in that exercise. It honestly at that moment felt like it was the right thing at the right time, and it was very powerful.

Fabian Luetzig: How did you realize, then, that you wanted to become a coach yourself and have more of that, something that goes beyond just reading a script?

Hala Beisha: I’ve worked for a very long time in corporate and industry, travelled around the world, worked in opening properties. There’s always a lot of pressure to do more with less, to really be at the top of our game and to deliver excellence. That’s very different than perfectionism; it’s when you’re striving for mastery, striving to offer something and work with people at a level that is very engaging for oneself.

The more I went through the program, the more I realized what it would be like if we as grad students at that point were offered this on a consistent basis. I’m happy to report that post-graduation the school that I did go to now offers coaching solutions in a more structured format. I saw the potential for that, especially as you’re going into more senior-level positions; especially if you, at a professional level, want to be engaged in really exciting new projects where there’s a lot of, perhaps, ambiguity. You’re doing things for the first time, you’re also working with teams across different boundaries and you also have volunteer initiatives and work that you’d like to do.

So, I think the more I got into later stages of my career that I saw it wasn’t about a to-do list that I wasn’t going through. That can work for some people; for me it wasn’t around that. It was about ‘how can I bring this to myself and learn more about it and how do I then share it with teams that I’m working and ultimately clients that I interact with?’

Fabian Luetzig: If you want to give your coaching school a shout-out, that’s totally ok, by the way. I hear pride in your voice coming through and that you had a good experience. So, if you want to share that name, go right ahead!

Hala Beisha: Absolutely! When I did the research, I went through iPEC, which is an ICF-accredited program. There are many great programs around the world, but for me that one offered extensive training. I really believe in practice; you know, the notion that we need 10,000 hours to really build up our skill and build up our muscle around that. So, I engaged in the program that over a year’s time I got tremendous amounts of training, great exposure, was coached, received coaching, worked in different kinds of set-ups. And that, I think, really set me up. I’m a firm believer that great foundations provide us with the beginning of the thread – and where we go with it afterwards is really up to us.

Fabian Luetzig: So where are you going with that? How would you describe your personal style of coaching that you have developed over the years?

Hala Beisha: Working with clients, the big thing is identifying leverage points. Things that are working, things that we’re really good at, leaning into them, amplifying them, having more of them. I don’t think it’s a naïve look at the world, I think it allows for a very systematic way to look at things, take those things and create more.

The approach that I have, that I am taking with my clients is very evidence-based, meaning that it is grounded in solid research around what we know works. Meeting clients where they are, building on that. It’s very exploratory. I think it’s very much around meeting clients where they are.

There is this notion sometimes that it can never be about the coach’s agenda, it is never about that. I have been in conversations where people started a conversation at one point and ended up totally somewhere else, because that’s where they wanted to be.

So, I think for me the biggest points are looking at what’s great and having more of it, in very simple terms. And really allowing the client to always be in the driver’s seat and sharing tools, best practices that are very customized and relevant to that person and that they want to engage with. I think that is a key differentiator.

Fabian Luetzig: Why is that important to you?

Hala Beisha: I think sometimes when talking about time-pressure, we all consume knowledge in different ways. In the coaching process, people learn a lot about themselves and that learning really continues after a coaching conversation. I always say “the best coaching doesn’t actually happen in a coaching conversation – it’s when someone leaves, and they come up against a situation and they remember something that we talked about and that they’ve identified as a priority and they choose to respond to it vs. react to it, that is really very different.”

Sometimes that is cemented when I have shared resources with them that they are looking for. For instance, when people are not into reading 30-page documents, does it really make sense for me to be sending them resources that are 30 pages? The chances of the person really reflecting on that are not high. When I understand how people learn and how they take in information, can be a podcast, it can be a click, it can be a video, that serves to illustrate the point: the more people can reflect the more those learnings are put into practice.

We do not learn from experience... we learn from reflecting on experience.
— John Dewey

There is a really famous quote by John Dewey: “We don’t learn by doing, but we learn by reflecting”. The opportunity to reflect, to use those additional resources as a scaffolding, to build new ideas, new ways of seeing the world and the opportunity take a path and take a look at a solution they hadn’t considered before, I think, is really unique.

Fabian Luetzig: I’m really curious about one label that you put on your style of coaching. You named it ‘evidence-based’. My ears kind of perked up at that, because I know that some coaches find it a challenge to address very sober, very no-nonsense business people. They ask you for the ROI, right, the return on investment, cold, hard numbers.

So, I’m curious if you could go a little more into what you mean by ‘evidence-based’ and how you use evidence. You say it’s based on what we know works. So, if you could let us in on a little more of that.

Hala Beisha: Absolutely! It’s looking at the field of human behavior and coaching. My background is in innovation, design thinking and foresighting. That is always the piece that is in the background. In the front is the coaching piece.

So, many times when I’m working with a client and there is an area that they would like to tackle – something that’s been coming up recently is the art of persuasion, and I use the word ‘art’ deliberately here. Are there really ways to come at it, to better understand it, to have a framework for how something is achieved? Absolutely! Is there one-size-fits-all? No!

But I do think what evidence-based allows us to do is to say “okay, this is what we know. Here, you are the client, here is your exposure to it. Tell me what’s showing up for you. How would you like to incorporate that? How would you like to experiment with trying it out? The more people are able to try out new ways of doing things, the more comfort they have, and the more the change or response becomes more solidified.

Another point that I work on with them: I’ve had a couple of clients, fellows and members talk about having difficult conversations. It’s not around termination, it’s not around “we need to get rid of you”; it’s conversations around “this is where you are and there’s an opportunity for us to do and look at things better.” I think whether you’re a senior level manager or a junior level manager, that frame of having to share something that might cause discomfort to people really makes people feel uncomfortable. So, they avoid it and then it doesn’t happen and then it snowballs.

So, when we are looking at some of the best practices around that that are deeply rooted in what we know works, people can take elements that work for them. There’s usually not a “you must do all of this for this to work.” People will usually read something, experience it, listen to it, watch it – there’s always a point that resonates the most with you. And that’s what we work on: “What is it that stood out for you? How would you like to apply it in this context?”

The contextualization and prioritization is the most important thing. Sometimes there is a lot of generic information that is shared out there – that can absolutely be the 30,000 foot view, it can be used for inspiration. But at the end of the day it’s “how does this fit in this person’s life at this point in time? What do they want to achieve with it in the bigger picture of their short-term, medium-term and long-term goals?”

Fabian Luetzig: Yeah, that’s what differentiates coaching from a really pleasant conversation, isnt’ it? That it really is customized to the client and it really comes down to the action steps, to the consequences the client wants to draw for themselves, the changes they want to implement for themselves; rather than having heard about this and that and “oh, isn’t that nice?”

Hala Beisha: Absolutely.


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Fabian Luetzig: Is there anything else around your research that you would like to share here or would you like to move on with the flow for now and see where else we can apply it?

Hala Beisha: Yeah, thank you for asking, Fabian! You know, as a life-long learner, after my MBA I had an opportunity to immerse myself in another educational experience around design thinking, foresighting and innovation. Throughout the course of that program, I got to work with multi-generational teams where the traditional stereotypes of generations being pitted against each other didn’t really pan out.

And so that got me to thinking: We do know that people are going to be engaged in work for longer periods of time, you know, with our greater life expectancy. I’m not saying you have to and you don’t have to retire. But many people are choosing to remain active well into their 80s and even 90s.

So, that got me to thinking: “Ok, we have younger generations, they have all these observations about work and how it’s changing, older generations have that. What is that conversation and what does it look like? Is it a matter of older generations knowing how to use DropBox, having better access to technology?”

I co-authored this with a colleague of mine, Donna. Donna is a grandmother of four. She has had many career iterations. I use the word ‘iteration’ deliberately; I don’t believe we transition from one thing to the other. I believe ‘iteration’ provides a more active look at the world, it means we take the best of what we learned and we add to it and we continue adding to it. It’s like a rug: it starts with one thread and the more threads that you add, the more multidimensional it gets. I think there is a lot of normalization that can be done around acceptance of that vs. the traditional look which is: we retire and then there is this black hole and no-one knows what happens afterwards.

So, we did this research, that was part of our requirements for our Master’s in Design and Foresight & Innovation. We looked at the changing world of work. We did trends analysis, we conducted interviews with younger professionals, older professionals, recruiters and we really tried to look at the bigger picture.

What we found was that, really, it was the world itself that was changing around us. In it is work. These are not challenges that one generation is having vs. another. Actually, these are things impacting all of us.

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.
— Alivn Toffler

One of the quotes that really stands out for me that stands out in this research is a grounding one. It’s by    He talks about “the illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read or write, but those you who cannot learn and unlearn.” What stood out for me was really our abilty to experience new things, see the world in a different light and learn.

One of the biggest findings we found is that as people look for work, agency and relevance in this new age of work – yes, there is a lot of talk about automation, AI. What we do see is it will not replace all jobs. What we’ll see is that jobs that require a very human touch, jobs with a lot of creativity, people being able to look at multiple perspectives, emergence; those are things that are really going to be coming up. Those require very human skills and they require us to learn and be curious around things.

Maybe not learning in a traditional setting. I think that we all need to all go back to school for grad degrees is great and if people want to do that, that’s fine. But we live in a world right now, online, where there are so many options that people can pursue and there is so much there to be garnered.

Fabian Luetzig: Yeah, wow, there is so much in what you just said. I kind of have to take a moment to see where I want to take it next, just because there is so much to talk about…

Hala Beisha: Can I share with you, Fabian, a really great quote from another futurist called Sohail Inayatullah. So, this is also… If I look at the two quotes that ground our work, this would be the second one: “Work places are not only places where people earn money and make friends. Work places also create personal meaning and a sense of community. Organizations that seek to develop high-performance problem-solving individuals and teams need to foster a culture that supports their workers’ drive for agency within their work.”

Notice the word of ‘agency’. We’ve seen that organizations are not in charge of running your career, but people are. The more people can take ownership of their career, the more they can re-train, ask for stretch assignments, are involved in the world, the more they can direct their career narrative and they do it a younger age and take more deliberate look at it, saying “We want to be working in our 70s, in our 80s” and maybe they start looking at that when they’re 30. The chances of success, of them embracing that process are actually a lot higher.

Fabian Luetzig: Yeah, I love that quote. It gives me the impression that it has a holistic view of the ‘worker’, of the individual that has a career. That is a lot broader than the understanding that many organizations seem to have. I have the impression that we have kind of agreed to pretend that we are these floating heads that are completely rational and completely only exist for work while we are at work; whereas we’re still human beings, we bring all our passions our desires, our problems, our challenges to the workplace, right?

Hala Beisha: You’ve hit the nail on the head! Actually, one of the other things that we also found was that … sometimes we assume that work fulfills all these things, that this is where we’re going to… that it’s going to fill every cup we have and every need we have. One of the bigger findings looking at the whole person, building off of that – yes it provides identity and meaning. And the next step is: how do you have these things outside of work? How are you building relationships? How are you volunteering? How do you do other activities? Because, jobs will be changed. People will need to move on from one thing to the other. And if the job is the only thing that we have, once that goes, what happens next?

So, taking, as you said a broader, more holistic look at things is actually one of the key findings. It does help people to deal with this greater uncertainty, the replacement of knowledge that we’re seeing. It allows people to be nimble and resilient, because they can see multiple paths.

Fabian Luetzig: Yeah, and that is one aspect that I really love about Design Thinking: this idea of ‘prototyping’ and trying out different paths and noticing: “wow, they’re actually all ok. There’s different things I cannot control and they end up leading to different versions of me; but I actually like all of those versions”.

That leads to a lot more serenity, in a way. At least that’s my personal experience, to know that there’s more than one ‘right path’ out there.

Hala Beisha: Absolutely! Actually, can I share with you a quote from Angela Duckworth’s book about ‘Grit’: “Career direction is a little bit of discovery, followed by a lot of development and then a lifetime of deepening. Interests are not discovered through introspection; instead, they’re triggered by interactions with the outside world” which is exactly what you were saying.

There’s this notion that when we sit in a room, the answer will come to us. And ‘work’ here, when we’re talking about ‘work’, it’s not just the work you do in a formal setting; it can be being on a board, volunteering to do some strategic planning, it can be a side project you’re helping your friend with. It could be a Meetup you’re doing, it can be a stretch-assignment.

So, again, the notion of how we learn and how we take in information, it’s like you have the base and then you go seek out other information. You add to it, build on it and move forward and iterate on it. So, absolutely, that’s exactly what I was talking about.    

Fabian Luetzig: Hmm, yeah. I have to say it resonates with me personally a lot, if you don’t mind me sharing. I have this personal learning history of when decided on my major, I had this panic; I didn’t have the feeling I was deciding for something, I was having the feeling of deciding against so many things.

I ended up choosing European Studies, which was an interdisciplinary study where we talked about law, economics, politics, history and languages, all wrapped up into one. In the end, I didn’t really know…  it didn’t define my identity.

What defined my identity in that part was, I can go into all of these things, I can talk to all of these people that do that for a major, one of these things, and talk to them in their language and see the connections between the disciplines and that sort of thing. That allows me to define myself freshly, over and over again, because what I am is a learner. That’s how I see myself: a life-long learner.

That’s why that metaphor that you shared that the experiences that we make over the course of a career are like the threads in a carpet or in a tapestry: Everything that’s in there, every thread that we weave, is part of the pattern and every experience we have is valuable and should be cherished.

But if we then change from yellow to blue, that’s also wonderful; if we reinvent ourselves to a certain degree, but taking what we already did, taking that with us and carrying that forward, rather than saying “I’m changing careers, I wasted ten years of my life.:

Hala Beisha: Exactly! So, maybe the conversation is not “I wasted”, maybe the conversation is ‘iteration.’ In the world of design, ‘iteration’ is: you take some thing, there is elements about it that work and fit that. It’s an evolution. Is it the journey or is it the destination? Maybe it’s a combination of both.

My practice is very grounded in the very pragmatic, real-world kind of setup. It is celebrating the best of what is working, building on it, so when people are moving forward into these engagements, the type of work that they want to do – again ‘work’ not being in the traditional notion. It could be that I’m grooming myself because I want to be on a board in a large city and I want to be able to make these decisions and I don’t have these skills; so, what are these pieces that I’m building on, that I’m expanding and adding to that tapestry.

Fabian Luetzig: I’m curious if you maybe found something in your research or if that’s something you have encountered in your work as a coach with that background – when I hear that and try to play devil’s advocate – I hear people of a bit older generation saying: “Yeah, but if you don’t have a goal, if you don’t have something to work towards, if you don’t’ have any structure and you just go with whatever feels good to you at the moment, then how are you ever get anything done and how are you going to build a career on top of that?”

Hala Beisha: So, to answer your question: It’s not running around aimlessly. It’s taking that starting point and figuring out areas that you would like to focus on; things where you believe that you have really great strengths and it’s something that you can either grow or build on. Trying it out for, again it doesn’t have to be the job, it can be a volunteer opportunity, it can be a project, trying that out, seeing what elements of that worked, also being really curious.

What we do know about work is that the types of jobs that we see now, some of them have not existed and some of them have not been invented. I’m not even talking about AI, coding, automation jobs.

I think there’s such a diversification out there, that it’s people taking those pieces, building them, knowing the end-destination; especially around “where do you want to be?” around travel, income requirements you’re looking for, the type of lifestyle that you want. Getting really curious doing the work, talking to a whole bunch of people, experiencing it for a while, adding to it and moving forward.

But the only way to do that is to continue the exploration as in Angela Duckworth’s great quote: “It’s a lifetime of deepening interests that are not discovered through introspection but triggered by interactions with the outside world,” because when we interact with the outside world, it shows us opportunities. It’s like one door that opens another that opens another.

So, actually, it’s a very deliberate act. There’s time duration and constraints around that. This is not roaming aimlessly for years on end. There’s a particular path and a particular pacing that is being done. It’s also saying “I’m going to find out more about these opportunities before I engage in them, I’m going to know the parameters where I’m going to be in that space, to get the most out of it.”

There’s an element to it that is evolving, and there is an element to it that is very deliberate. It’s like in Inayatullah’s quote: we use the word ‘agency.’ It’s not being done to you – you are the one leading it!

Fabian Luetzig: And how does coaching play into that?

Hala Beisha: I think coaching is not the only tool, I think it is one of many. As you know, coaching is a ‘designed alliance’. It has to be a give and take. So, anyone who is just in a coaching relationship just for the sake of it, who’s not willing engage or challenge or try out new things – that doesn’t really work.

How it works in a coaching relationship is that it can be one of many ways for people to come in and really unpack those pieces of the puzzle. You know, when you want to put a puzzle together, there are so many pieces. One of the first starting points is to get all of the pieces on the table and figure out where the top part of the image is and where the bottom part is.

So, I think to begin with, that’s a really good, simple way to unpack where someone is, what have they been doing, where do they see their second, third, fourth career iteration. What are the resources available to them? What are they really good at right now that they can lean into? Or an area that could be a blindspot – notice I’m not using the word ‘weakness – that they may want to takek a closer look at.

And then seeing the people in the broader networks. When I use the term ‘networks’ it’s not around very transaction setups. It’s rather: “Who are people in your community that you can reach out to for information? How can you find out more to be able to make better, informed decisions?

Elements of that can be done within a coaching conversation and elements of that need to be moved forward by the person on their own. It’s like a give and take. And I’d like to think how I’ve seen that people have great success with that process.

Fabian Luetzig: Yeah, wonderful! To, me the notion of ‘ownership’ is a really important one. That is something that I hope to bring to every coaching session that I have, to help my clients practice that ‘ownership muscle’ if you will, this mindset of looking at themselves and their lives as their playing field and as something that they are, at least to a degree, in control of. I think maybe a coaching session can be a safe environment to try some of that out before going out and applying that and making those changes.

Hala Beisha: Absolutely! There is no ‘if you do these ten things, this will be perfect” or “you have to do these ten things.” It is what the person wants to do at that point in time.

It can be one small thing and it can be that they choose to do nothing sometimes. Also doing nothing, because the time is not right, because you have other priorities, that’s also a very strategic choice. The ability to look at things with nuance and layers to see what is the priority and what are the implications of that. That’s also an interesting thought process for many people.

So, even inaction, at a certain point in time allows for a certain pacing that in the short term appears as inaction, but actually in the long term has much broader implications, because someone has built enough runway or has done more research or looked at things more thoroughly.

Fabian Luetzig: That brings up my favorite musical ‘Hamilton’ and Aaron Burr who says: “I’m not standing still, I’m lying in wait!”

Hala Beisha: Exactly! What a great quote, I could not agree with you more!

 

Fabian Luetzig: And speaking of ‘waiting’, we’re going leave it at that for today and continue with Part 2 next week. Some of you have given me the feedback that if the episodes go too long, you don’t finish them. I really want you to listen to all of what Hala has to say. That’s why we’re splitting it into two parts this time.

In the meantime, feel free to check out Hala’s work and to connect with her on Twitter. You can find the links, as always, on globalcampfireofcoaching.com.

Have a great week and talk to you soon!

 

Part 2

Intro

Hala Beisha: We live in a world where formal structure around how business is done, how the world is set up; they’re changing and they’re changing quickly. I think it’s a very exciting time to be alive.

Yes: there’s a lot of change and a lot of learning and unlearning going on. But I also think it’s a great opportunity where – for those people who want to put in the effort and the time and that’s what they’d like to do – I think there’s so much that can be accomplished around finding interesting answers to very stubborn questions.

Fabian Luetzig: Welcome to the Global Campfire of Coaching, an ongoing discussion between coaches, coachees and anybody else interested in the Art and the Science of coaching, spreading information and exchanging opinions so that we learn and grow together as a community. I’m Fabian Luetzig.

Welcome to Part 2 of this interview with Hala Beisha! If you haven’t had a chance to listen to Part 1 yet, I recommend doing that first. We talked about Hala’s background - she has an MBA in Strategic Management and a Master’s in Design of Foresight and Innovation - and we talked a lot about the research that she has done on the future of work; it’s really interesting!

Now, in Part 2, we talk about how that research, how her background in foresight and innovation influences her outlook on coaching.  

Interview

Fabian Luetzig: Hala, what is one of your favorite coaching success stories?

Hala Beisha: I have so many, what is my favorite one…? Yes, I know which one!

So, I volunteer a number of coaching hours with the International Coach Federation Toronto Chapter. One of their programs is called ‘Coach Connect’. Coach Connect partners trained certified coaches through the ICF with members of the community who are looking for coaching.

Last year, we got to partner with the Canadian Women Chamber of Commerce. I was partnered with a woman entrepreneur who has been in business for a number of years. She’s a great trailblazer, was able to get her funding, got into a space that wasn’t really being disrupted and she offered a solution that looked a little bit different than what was in the market.

In that relationship, there were some very tangible outcomes that she was looking for. As a small business owner, you’re always looking at the pipeline. I always try not to… I’m not a consultant, I’m not a mentor, I am a coach. Coaching is not consulting and it’s not mentorship. It is a designed alliance where the client is in the driver’s seat.

What ended up happening over three, four months is our ability to unpack the issues. Yes, she wanted a pipeline and sales and that’s what she was looking at. It was really identifying for her, in a short period of time: what were her priorities? What could she do with the resources that she had? What is the best use of her time? For things that were not – the time was just not there for her to do, because she was doing a million other things. We also took a look at the revenue: Where was that coming in?

So, as she started to look at that, she gained a clearer idea what was going on. She identified also blind spots in her business, “let’s not reinvent the wheel”, “you obviously have great pieces, let’s take those; how would you evolve them? What do you think is going on?” Clients are experts in their life and she had the answers.

But I think one of the things that struck me was that she said: “Things are moving so quickly on a day-to-day basis that I almost don’t have time to think.” In that 45-minute conversation, it’s me and her, no distractions: let’s look at this. And suddenly it’s like – I always look at it like a glass of water where you have dirt whooshing around. That’s all the noise and the sound and everything that’s going on and it’s the hurriedness and the 10 million things you need to do on your to-do list. If you get that cup of water with the murky brown stuff to settle down, all the debris goes down to the bottom of the glass and what you have is clear water.

So, taking that visualization, she identified that there were some simple things that she could do – and it had nothing to do with her spending more resources by the way. She actually picked up new clients from her ability to better understand the client process and understand the persona of her members and where they were on their journey, interacting with her product and service. When she targeted them at a certain point in time… not targeting them, actually it was a re-frame: it was providing them with the service they were looking for. She offers a fundamentally different service and when she understood that better, she was able to better surface those needs they were looking at. And that’s how she was able to convert and build up more clients and actually for the year picked up many more clients.

So, I think this is an example of how coaching – not in a consulting capacity or a mentorship one – where in some cases in can be viewed as highly abstract, can actually help somebody understand priorities, put them in action and actually get traction from them.

Fabian Luetzig: What is it that makes this story stand out for you? You were saying “There’s so many, let me choose.” And then this one came to mind and you were so sure that this is the one you wanted to share. What is it about this story, that makes it so special for you?

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