Business Book of Coaching – Assumption #4
Today we talk about using our time wisely. This is the fourth in a series of posts talking about the assumptions in The Business Book of Coaching by Ajit Niwalka and Neeta Bhushan.
Assumption: You need to coach for several hours
The biggest takeaway I had from reading this article is that results are important. The time to achieve them is less relevant. Craftsmanship and artistry do take time to build up. This is the regular practice you put into your profession, career, and/or service. This is key to bring the greatest value to your customer is your proficiency in your craft. As you increase your proficiency, the time it takes to deliver shortens.
Every session, every visit, every interaction does not need the expectation that it will “Take a long time to get results.” I believe that this is true in many professions as we learn the skills and leverage our strengths and other resources to accomplish the goals we set out to do. Though I may schedule for a longer session or program, if my client achieves the results early, we celebrate.
One shift in our thinking, can change the course of the conversation and get the results sooner. This does take creativity and a willingness and courage to experiment with new approaches. It has been my experience that the first way we are taught to do something isn’t always the ‘right way’. For example, when we learn math in school, we learn the long way first. Once we understand why the mechanism works, we can apply more efficient means in most cases.
This doesn’t mean that we won’t ever got back to the slower, more thorough way, when necessary. Learning the longer path allows us to understand better the tradeoffs between one choice and the other. This is the wisdom we earn by learning more than one approach.
Quality trumps quantity, every time
In my relationships, I have certainly see this be really important. More time doesn’t always mean a better experience. With the use of focus, and being fully present in the moment, is when we get our deepest insights and connections. This is when we can make exponential decisions that take things in a whole new direction.
If I am working on a project non-stop for hours on end, and stuck in the same place, I need to take a break. I walk away for a period to rest and recover. This might be a drink, a shower, maybe even a nap. When I come back to what is going on, I can see it from a different perspective. The quality of my perception changes.
Quality in our moments also comes in how present we are in each situation. Do you ever find yourself wishing you were at home when you are at work? Maybe you find yourself wishing you were at work when you are at home? Sometimes both happen in the same day. Are you showing up with your highest quality focus when you are in either? I know I am not. Then I am not giving my best to either situation.
Intentional use of time
It helps when there are specific rituals or intentional transitions between the two. I have worked form home for over 10 years now. It was more challenging than when I commuted to and from an office for work. Using exercise between the two has worked for me. Music sets the tone for one versus the other as well. Other times, it is slowing down enough to set the intention that I am shifting gears.
When I don’t intentionally transition, I know I show up for my ‘home time’, with my fix-it hat still one. This irritates both my family, and myself. It doesn’t serve the quality time need that I or my lady truly crave.
Where do you second-guess your intuition?
Our intuition is a great resource for when we are seeking to move through and past something. What slows us down is when we get that insight, that fresh idea, that out of the box concept, and we discount it form the get go. I have seen when I have an idea, watch someone else do the same thing, that I didn’t think would work. I didn’t trust that insight when I had it.
What if all of humanity gets the idea about the same time, and it is the one who uses it with courage that gains the results by it? How would you treat those insights now? When we bring our intuition into the work we do, and trust it, it has such a deeper, and more meaningful impact on our customers and ourselves.
Are your customers ready to put in their time?
One question I commonly ask my clients in sessions is, “What do you do that you need to leave to others?” There is the value we bring to our customers. Regardless if your value is a product, service or experience, it is all valuable. I believe that great service goes a long way. The customer also needs to do their part.
Buying fitness equipment will open up the possibility of getting more fit. They do need to learn how to use the equipment, and use it. A good store can provide guidance on which fitness equipment to get. A great store can recommend a coach to learn the best way to use it. The customer still needs to use the equipment to get the results.
This same concept can be applied to maintenance of a car as a service; the customer needs to bring in the car when it is time to do the service. It also applies to a travel experience. A great guide can recommend the proper attire for an excursion, it is up to the customer to be prepared based on those recommendations.
When a customer comes prepared for the product, service, or experience, their results will be far more attainable. As a provider for that, we can offer education of what it necessary, and how best to prepare for that. We can also state the standards for the product, service, or experience ahead of time, so no assumptions are made.
Make the best use of your time
Does all of the above require lots of work and time? Possibly. The interaction with the customer doesn’t have to take a long time. I had two contrasting experiences in the last couple of years. One was with a wireless phone provider and the other with an internet provider. Both were experience to cancel or stop service.
Returning the phone took almost 90 minutes, talking to a customer service rep at the store, and 3 managers on the phone. They wouldn’t discontinue service at the store. There was a hold time of 5-10 minutes between each person on the phone. Each time, we were transferred to a different manager. We were discontinuing one line, and there were 3 more lines with the same carrier. They kept trying to retain her as a customer.
With the internet provider, we walked into their retail store, and returned the hardware. The customer service rep scanned the hardware, and gave us a receipt. We were in and out of there in five minutes. There was no haggling, no managers involved, and it was a smooth experience. I even commented to the rep that she made it really easy for us, and thanked her.
Fantastic Customer Service
Who do you think I would be willing to work with again in the future? Who would you want to work with in the future? Needless to say, because of they needless passing the buck with the wireless phone provider, all 3 of the other lines are now with the new carrier. I will never do business with the old one again. If the service was available for the internet provider in a future home, I would happily do business with them.
The phone provider felt like they were wasting our time and the internet provider respected our time. This goes a long way in the interactions between providers and customers. I would refer people to using the internet provider, though I will warn people every chance I get about the wireless phone provider.
Make time for your customers, with the intent to get them to their results in the best time possible. Ensure they are well prepared for the experience. When they have meet their results, congratulate them, and get out of the way for them to reap the rewards of achieving their results.