THE EXISTENTIAL WHO AM I AND WHAT IS MY PRODUCT?
As a coach, consultant and mentor there are some conversations that are worth reflecting upon and sharing, albeit anonymised for the person, business, product and circumstances. The aim is not prescriptive (this is what you should do) but instead descriptive (this is what we discussed). The purpose is to freely share some ideas that may be useful to others.
Inevitably for any solopreneur their business, product and process reflects their personality, purpose and ambition. A good number of my coaching / mentoring clients are people setting up and / or scaling up their business and thinking about their role and goal.
In one such conversation we discussed the following…
- The idea of their product as a tree with the potential for different branches, going in different directions and bearing fruit. The metaphor explored the ideas of gardener, tree, trees, orchard etc.
- The difference between “advice” and “information” using the metaphor of a London Underground Map as a list of possible destinations and routes without being prescriptive and allowing the traveler to pick their own journey.
- The pros and cons of getting it right first time (and the risk of procrastination in pursuit of perfection) and an agile, but possibility non-linear approach (which may wander, but explore further and more deeply).
- The pros and cons of “unthinking” automation (running on tram lines) or “manual” intervention (freeform ad-hoc), noting that sometimes what people want is “clear thinking in a confused environment” and that notwithstanding the love of self-driving cars people still like to be in the driving seat and having some sense of control
- The idea of those books which at the end of each chapter say Option1 Turn to page 77 Option 2 Turn to page 140. We noted that these have an author and structure, but that it is the reader who through their choices decides the story.
- At each point we talked about the PERSON and PRODUCT, the roles, contribution and value of each.
The conversation was longer and deeper than the above might suggest, but I feel there are some ideas above that may be useful to others in their thinking, which is why I have shared this.
Coaching is a process that aims to improve performance and focuses on the ‘here and now’ rather than on the distant past or future. Good coaches believe that the individual always has ideas and opportunities to resolve whatever is holding them back but understands that they may need help to define their goals, set their path, and achieve their success. Coaching is about listening, reflecting, asking questions and unlocking YOUR potential.
Mentoring is to support and encourage people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be.’ Mentoring is development driven, looking not just at the professional’s current job function but beyond, taking a more holistic approach to career development. Mentoring is non-evaluative, while coaching is based on measuring performance change. Due to the personal nature of mentoring, a mentor will more often than not draw on their personal experiences and expertise to help their mentee. This could be in the form of sharing a story that taught them a valuable lesson, or a challenge they overcame in their career.
Tim HJ Rogers
Ex-Athlete, now Change Practitioner, ICF Coach, IoD Mentor, Mediation Practitioner
Helping people and organisations achieve their goals.
ICF Trained Coach IoD Business Mentor, Mediator, Management Consultant, Change Practitioner Mob 447797762051 Tim@ThinkingFeelingBeing.com Tim@AdaptConsultingCompany.com
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