This is the second article on about the assumptions discussed in The Business Book of Coaching by Ajit Niwalka and Neeta Bhushan. This article will be talking about the second Assumption listed in the book, “You need to be more successful than your clients”. If you didn’t read it, check out the first article as well.
Assumption: I need to be more successful than my clients
Success is measured in many ways. Especially when considering the Lifebook framework being an open exploration of what success looks like for each person, this opened my eyes up to what success is. When working with a person or company, I know I have experience that is different than those that I want to serve. Some of that is by reading, watching, or discussing it. Others are by doing, acting, failing, and iterating. If I am going to serve someone in the capacity as a baker, I am not ‘successful’ in that. So that won’t be the value I bring to a customer.
I do bring a curious mind, willing to learn, dig deep into something, and spend perhaps for longer figuring out what is at the root of something to correct it for the long term. I’ve learned this tactic while working in various roles from customer service to technical support, and programming to coaching.
There is also the concept that when we are serving a customer, it is a relationship, a partnership, and a team. This may be through the end of a transaction, or a longer term commitment, depending on the nature of the transaction. When I’ve come from a perspective of wanting to learn with the customer to find a solution, it works out so much better.
What is my edge in the workplace?
Ajit asks what I offer my clients that only I can deliver. I feel that I have learned by falling down, making mistakes, some pretty harrowing and impactful to my life, and the lives of those I care about. It is the core idea of learning from mistakes rather than repeating them that is part of that. I have also learned to specialize in an area to be more proficient. This has helped in large corporations and in small companies. In that way, I thrived.
The right tools to be successful
Another question that is posed is what are unique problems that I resolved in a unique way. For me, many times it is about having the right tool at the right time.
In working at an internet company, before auto-responses were that smart, we built a filtering system to get the most relevant answers back to the customers questions quickly, and then delved deeper into the questions that were outside those frequently asked questions. We could update the template when there were new trends. This made the team more efficient so they didn’t have to rewrite the same answer many times. Luckily, the software we used for this at the time had ways to leverage this. My role was to figure out how to distribute, train, and troubleshoot the process. Now this is pretty common place. It felt cutting edge at the time.
When working with a client that wanted to experience SCUBA diving, but had some limitations on doing so, we took a field trip for our coaching session. We started with some of the basics with a bit of snorkeling. We practiced, learned, and experienced it together. This got us out of our comfort zone. It also helped move the peg one step closer to feeling what it is like to SCUBA dive, and stay within their limitations. It was a fun experience for both of us,
Lastly, I was having issues really keeping track of my notes, goals, and communications. I had gone through the Lifebook framework to learn about goals, strategies, and other planning concepts. Someone introduced me to a page authoring tool at the beginning of 2021 called Notion. So I combined the tool, with some organization, and build a dashboard for my life. I refined it over the next couple of months, and am still iterating with it to make it more engrained in what I do each day, week, month, and quarter.
It is hard to imagine how I was managing all this information prior to using these tools. I even took it to the next level, and made it into a template so that others could use the work I put in to streamline their process of living the best intentional version of their life.
Find your own success, and leverage it
In these areas I thrive, and feel successful. I feel that it is progress, and doing the diligence on learning how to take these ideas, and be of service, is what bringing value to a customer is all about. As I evolve, I can serve those customers in a different way. As I learn with my customers, I can bring that wisdom to the next clients as well. It’s all a work in progress.