Happy Monday, Champs! Did you enjoy the beautiful weather on Saturday? The rising temperature made me feel like spring is coming, even though it was a little slushy, if you keep your focus on the warm sunshine, the mild breeze, the blue sky and the fresh smell, you will look at the slush differently.
When things or relationships in your life don’t progress in the pace or direction that you want, what can you do? On top of change the things and the other people, what else can you do? I observed an inspiring coaching session today and would like to share it with you.
The client, Tony has a business with a friend. He is seeking from the session a way to improve the relationship with the business partner, Lennie. Tony is a very structured person, who likes to make plans and follow the steps to get things done, while Lennie is very talented in the business and is creative, passionate and motivating, which is how and why they started the business. Tony acknowledges all these virtues of his partner; however, he also realizes that Lennie’s personality, sometimes, can be a minus for the business. He is laid back; he doesn’t like to take things seriously; he believes everything will be fine at the end. So when it comes to follow up with their business plans, they always have to catch up. It makes Tony frustrated and disappointed. He doesn’t understand why it’s hard for Lennie to finish his share of the work on time.
After the coach gets all the above background information, he asks that from 10 to 1, 10 being the ideal growth of the business and 1 being nothing is followed through, where Tony thought the business is at. Tony gives it a 4. The coach further asks that for Tony to increase from 4 to 5, what he think he can do to make it happen. Tony mentioned that when the progress became slow in the past, he would have a good talk with Lennie and motivate him more to let him know what he was expected to do for the business. Lennie was always willing to take the advice, make the change right away; but everything goes back to the origin a few weeks later.
The coach then asks Tony what else he thinks he can do to help Lennie keep on the track. Tony thinks of more communications with Lennie, taking more shares of the work, helping Lennie change his laid back attitude. The coach further asks him what else he thinks he could do to make it better. This is where Tony starts to switch. He starts to realize that this is a two-party business, if the attempt of changing one party doesn’t work as desired, whether he could make some changes on his own, since they both share the same goal, such as rather than keep the structured way of doing things, he tries to be less serious with little stuff; rather than try to change Lennie’s laid back attitude, he tries to mitigate his demanding and compulsive attitude; rather than share the responsibilities equally, he tries to make use of Lennie’s talents to the fullest and he takes on more paper work. His mind is opened and he comes up with more ideas to make the relationship work. At this moment, he doesn’t feel stressed or frustrated. He feels lightened up and more confident in the business. I can see he becomes relaxed and smiles and nods a lot.
My take on of this session is that when things or relationships in our lives don’t progress in the pace or direction that we want, instead of focusing on changing the thing itself, or the other people, it might be easier to change our attitude, the ways of doing things and adjust the pre-set pace according to the situation. You know people are more motivated to make progress when they know that their contributions are appreciated no matter big or small, rather than being monitored or criticized. The relationship becomes more healthier when the parties involved can have open, equal and sincere conversations regarding every aspect.
Champs, a new week is ahead of us now. Be mindful of the tweak of making the changes in your relationships, personally and professionally. Keep track of the difference you find.