There are 3 things in particular that I work with my clients on, in helping them find their voices and realise their full potential as Entrepreneurs, Leaders ad Public Speakers ; their state (e.g. their mindset, energy and holistic wellbeing), how they communicate and relate with others (individually and as it relates to presenting to or leading groups) and their content and delivery in their work.
From time to time, I am reminded of the importance of the first, when an aspiring entrepreneur I’ve recently spoken to about how adolescent to middle aged womens’ monthly cycles effect their productivity, energy levels and mood throughout the month, returns to me to thank me for how much of a difference the knowledge has made to her productivity and her perception of her capabilities and hence self worth, since she found out.
In Western Society, regardless of gender, we often have this expectation (or at last hope) of our bodies and beings that they should be able to run flawlessly and endlessly like machines, to help us meet the demands of the many roles we have to play in work and life. But in reality, our bodies, and what we’re physically, mentally and hence spiritually capable of achieving, is impacted by the cycles unique to our (genetically speaking) sex, within each phase of the life cycle.
Once we understand what they are and what our strengths and weaknesses are at each phase within these cycles, we can both start being a little more gentle on ourselves for not being able to be “better” than we are at any particular time in life, and then both start to better plan our work (and life) activity around our unique set of holistic health needs for that phase and plan to take better care of ourselves at the moments when we’ll need to.
What are some examples of some of the phases each of us might need to navigate in our working lives (just to be clear we’re on the same page)?
Think each as being a boat that goes past you while you’re on a surfboard in the water. A couple of those boat services, might not be relevant to you (but may impact people you work with or manage). Others, like ferries, whether we like it or not, are scheduled to be coming past at some point. And they’ll make waves of various sizes when they come past. Think of the range of holistic health, pharmaceutical (or worst case, surgical) choices and interventions you can make as being the means of asking the Captain of the boat to drive at a speed and in a way that makes a minimal amount of waves from each boat, for you to have to navigate. Think of you learning to surf them and work with their flow as being how you better manage your stress levels, become more productive and able to perform at your best throughout each phase.
The gorgeous thing for me about having originally Practice Managed Mental Health, Holistic Health and Birth Focused Wellness Clinics, having originally, in my own Private Practice, as a Counsellor and Human Biological Science graduate, specialised in Stress Management and Holistic reproductive health for mainly 18-40 something Women and Men, and later, having Mentored and Trained so many thousands of people in the Wellness Industry in their Business, Leadership and Pubic Speaking development, is that I have both come to have an amazingly knowledgeable network of health professionals I can refer to, who can help you (or those you might work with) better manage every single one of those “boats.” But I also have a great understanding of how to account for them, as it comes to managing the Inner game (your state) as a part of helping you (or those you work with) reach your/their, highest potential as a Leader and Public Speaker.
How on earth does that relate to your Leadership and Speaking you might ask? Are you one of the folks who rates Public Speaking as being about as appealing as death, yet you still have to do it for your work? Or are you someone who enjoys or aspires to do more of it, but experiences varying degrees of fear and anxiety still about any given presentation that you have to give? Would you like to be better able to stress less, both before you go on and while you’re on stage?
Doing so is in part about the routines you do pre, during and post speaking. But it’s also about increasing your awareness around what is cumulatively adding to your general stress levels throughout your working and personal life prior. The more sources of stress you’re dealing with, the less your tolerance of and ability to potentially cope with the challenge of stepping in front of any given audience, when you’d like to.
Which is why, at the upcoming October Sydney Leaders and Public Speakers Meetup Group event, one on the things I’ll be introducing attendees to is 12 of the most common sources of stress you need to be mindful of managing in your holistic wellbeing routine, to help you stress less and perform at your best as a Leader and Public Speaker. There’ll also be a complimentary download on how to better manage them for everyone who attends.
Or if you have any questions about how to better manage, or support someone you work with, to better manage and flow with the unique challenges of managing their state, relative to the phase of the life cycle you/they might be navigating too, please feel free to reach out to me, so that I can connect you or them with some expert support.
Until next time
And I find there is generally one of three main reasons disengagement is occurring. They are that either:
1- The Need for Reconnection
Very commonly, especially in organisations or businesses big enough to have multiple parties responsible for different functions in the chain of service to the client, a simple breakdown in communication has occurred, that has not yet been recognised or addressed. The reasons why that has developed can be numerous. Whatever the reasoning for why either party has not been in touch though, one of the first steps in world class customer service, maintaining a relationship with the client and (for you) retaining their business, is to have a representative of your organisation reach out to the client to touch base and find out where they’re at, by asking them how they are or just where they’re at.
Best case scenario, maybe they’ve been flat out and you were literally next on their list of things to do and you just got in first (which makes you look like you care and are proactive), worst case scenario, maybe there was just a family, life or financial crises (and they haven’t yet been able to reach out…and possibly feel a bit awkward or embarrassed about doing so). Or very commonly and far milder in severity, maybe a new need has arisen for them and they’re presently in a state of reconsideration of wether the existing service agreement and service is still a fit, and or considering what they need to communicate with you in order to adjust it. Or whether they might need to go elsewhere.
My point though, it’s not weirdly stalker-ish, or overzealous, “chasing” or inappropriate for someone from your organisation to reach out and ask how the client is doing in such an instance. It’s actually high quality customer service, that shows that you genuinely care and you see it that you are in this together. And it’s so often the simplest of all first steps in getting things successfully back on track.
2- The Need to take Responsibility
Secondly, very often when I have been that person reaching out on behalf of an organisation, I’ve found that the service provider has, somewhere within the chain of service, or in communicating information between the links in the service chain, dropped the ball in delivery of the promised service in some way. In which case, as the designated representative of the company in that moment, it becomes your job to be the front face taking initial responsibility for acknowledging the potential occurrence of a mistake, ahead of connecting the parties directly involved in its investigation and, ultimately taking action towards its resolution, in line with the expectations laid out by both parties in the original service agreement. At this point, there might also be a revisiting of how you can improve upon the original agreement and, ideally, you throw in some more value to make amends for your organisation’s part in this
Alternatively, it might come out of a chat that the party receiving the service is not yet delivering on their part of the deal, depending on the nature of the service you provide, and what is required of them. Whatever the reasoning behind this, they too may need to step up and take responsibility for their part in the service agreement.
Yes, that might be a bit “totes awks” as a discussion to have. But getting past “totes awks territory”, back to clear expectations of what is required of each party ongoingly (or not) next, in the actualisation of the service agreement, is the goal and the kind of stuff long term client relationships need to thrive. So resolution part 2 involves addressing and re-assigning responsibility.
3- The Need for a Pathway of Re-engagement
The final place where disengagement can occur is around “what next’ and simply creating a clear invitation and opportunity around further engagement. Very often, again, one might not have been discussed. Maybe one does not yet exist. But could, if someone from your organisation uses the information gained from the before mentioned chats to create a new pathway of service/delivery of something of value to the client, or continued organisational, or even industry level engagement, that benefits you both. At the simplest level, by asking what do you need now, and how can i/we help you achieve that? And, if they have someone or something in their network, that might also be of benefit to you too, it’s about creating opportunities for discussion in which such possibilities can emerge.
However it looks, even if your initial business is complete, it’s about finding clever ways to stay in touch with the people you genuinely really like working with or supporting (and vice versa) over the long term.
While it can be easy, when the pressure is on, “survive” kicks in and things and people need to be paid in the short term, to end up chasing our desired outcome, at the risk of losing site of the clients. Or, when you’re overrun busy, it’s very easy to get busy serving the people in the group that yell the loudest and then realise weeks or months down the track that no-one has made time to swing back around to check on the parties that have been more quiet, as to why.
My best advice to you though is make sure you always keep the reasons your clients came to you and their needs front and centre in everyone along the chain of services' minds. Plan out a schedule of touch points, keeping managing the above 3 mentioned points in mind. And when you do have to do those "totes awks" AR (accounts receivable) or follow up type conversations, be mindful of the following two questions:
How can we do what has to be done for business, in a way that simultaneously demonstrates love, care and genuine concern for the client, as well as shows our commitment to delivering them a world class level of quality service?
In the end, people who feel well respected, honoured and supported in having their service needs well met are inclined to stay and want to further grow and keep engaging with you. People who are worried that this might not be it, or that they treat me/us like sh#t, are more inclined to want to withdraw or walk away.
And dare I say, question no 2: what do you want your business/organisation to be known for in terms of the client experience and quality of service? How, in action, can you demonstrate that?
Every touch point you have along the way is your opportunity to create that. Make sure you make them count.
Clearing up the Confusion About What We Actually Really Want From Each Other (& How We Can Love Each Other Better)
Call it at least 10 years in particular of watching out for this (and doing a whole bunch of work trying to work out my own "stuff" getting in the way of ME being able to show up "fully self-expressed") but what is so completely obvious to me right now is just how confused so many people seem to be about both how to recognise what other people want and how to communicate what THEY actually want. That a huge percentage of society only tell you what they want as an abusive, blame-loaded tyrade of how you failed to meet their needs AFTER the fact. Or another percentage are busy chasing around, longing for, lusting after people in work and love, who, as Justin would put it in the movie "He's Just Not That Into You" well, quite frankly, just aren't that into them and silence and absence really DOES mean what we don't want to admit it actually means. Or maybe occasionally, are too afraid to show it, or say it. And maybe they really ARE just all up in the head about it. But that is to be taken more the exception, than the rule, generally speaking.
As one walks about the busy streets, or sits (or stands, sardine sandwiched) on a train in peak hour these days, alongside a culture in which it's suddenly normal for every single person to be sitting/standing there with EarPods/Earphones/Headphones on, eyes and focus down on their phones. Doing their best to escape from the unpleasantness of the present moment, into a reality where the people they're really wanting to be spending it with exist/might be waiting. In this day and age, interaction is increasingly becoming more digital and our relating reality becoming more "phygital" than physical.
Ask any Relationship or Dating Coach or Psychologist this too and they will tell you, they're seeing it constantly, that we're starting to forget and becoming incredibly anxious about how to relate with each other in the "real": spontaneously, where we have to come up with responses LIVE, over (while in the digital reality) being able to take however long to think it over and then post or send a highly considered, calculated and well constructed answer. (Not to mention, have the illusion of complete and total control over blocking and removing any interaction we don't find 100% to our liking.)
As one of the World's most well known Dating Coaches, Matthew Hussey, put it this week, relating seems to happen mostly in short sentences in instant messages now....and it's literally killing our ability to make meaningful new connections and have chats that actually go anywhere meaningful, beyond coming to feel like you're perpetually the modern day virtual equivalent of "pen-pals". His suggested solution- make an invitation and time to pick up the phone and start ringing, or even better FACE timing each other again instead. So that we have a chance to see and feel each other in a more full spectrum way, until we can next BE with each other, live, in the flesh, to do the same.
My additional thoughts to add to this:
1- Life would be SO much easier if people could just SAY how it is that they feel and what it is that they want and need, in our conversations about how we can be of service to each other.
That's though, if we even KNOW what we want in the first place, which in this day and age, especially for the younger generations, seems to be increasingly a problem to feel out, as the digital realm and the age of information takes us up into our heads and wires us to responding visually via screens and away from presence with self and self awareness within the present moment to being able to hear our own inner wisdom/higher wisdom, let alone from being able to feel, hear, see, sense it in physical presence and awareness of another in person. Yet self-awareness and being able to listen to the feedback of our senses, as well as our higher thoughts is key to being able to understand what it is that we truly want and need.
So many spiritual gurus and coaches spout the line about just be of service and then life/the universe will meet you back, and then so many well meaning humans pay it forward. And it's true, it will.
BUT, ask the majority of Dating or Relationship or Executive Coaches, in practical application, the average pair of people in any given relationship, are often getting stuck in a whole OTHER complex lot of dynamics, that sound a bit like:
-trying to show up in service to the other, yet either feeling like they're getting it wrong, or they feel not enough or are expected to be Psychic to work it out
-feeling like one or both parties are trying to manipulate or co-erce their way to getting what they want, as oppose to just putting their cards on the table
-STILL feeling at times like they're NOT getting what THEY want, while the other person IS and often like one party just takes, while the other gives. Or
-in this busy day and age of work and life, feeling like they don't get any quality time with the other. OR
even if they do
-feeling like it doesn't last or there's is little commitment to follow through, when some other commitment takes priority again and follow through never happens (and then both parties get caught up in a stale-mate of keeping score of the investments made or not and then withholding or investing themselves accordingly....called a stale-mate because there's no way to win, until one or both parties concede dropping the game.)
-And then there's learning to actually recognise what it looks like, when one party is just not returning any investment because they're actually just not that into the other, and don't want to hurt your feelings telling you so.
-And how to recognise what it looks and feels like (and how we express it it, verbally and non verbally) when someone really IS in total alignment with you and wants what you do too.
Some of those may or may not in reality be the ultimate truth of what is really going on. The only way to know for 100% sure though where you both stand and what you both need, is to be willing to have a conversation about it. To ask and to be willing to actually share with the other person how you feel and what you want and need TOO, AND THEN try and be of service to each other from THAT place of greater clarity and authentic transparency.
Relationships would be so much easier, wouldn't they, if we could just SAY how we feel and what it is that we want, as well as asking what the other wants and how you can be or offer that for them?
2- Life would be so much easier if we were better at reading the full range of each others' array of verbal and non verbal communication (in addition to becoming more self-aware of our own).
But in application, that's a little faster said, than done. Because, once you have developed heightened awareness and the ability to be aware of everything that is going on with the other, you then need to learn how to read and differentiate the various sources and types of steams of data that you're picking up on, and where they originate from. More than that, one of the first things we need to UNlearn is the "operant conditioning" learned tendency (eg assuming a cause and effect relationship between two things) to assume that, just because you feel something going on with the other person, means it must automatically be about you. Or that, because you're there right now with them, you must therefore have caused it. When so much of the time, actually, you didn't. They're completely caught up in their own "stuff" and it might not even be present tense "stuff"; it might be about someone from their past. And if not that, it might be about someone else in the present, who isn't in your view in that moment, but IS going through something in that present moment that, on an unconscious level, you detect impacting upon the person in front of you's energy and attention in the present, for example. And then, finally SOME of it might, in the present moment, be about you. Knowing all of that, does it make sense, or does it help grow our relationships, therefore, to be reacting to things that, often times, might not even be about us?
In reality, there are dozens of levels of awareness and levels of experience within learning what we now call "sensory", "emotional" and "intuitive" intelligence (e.g. the collective abilities to read other people and one's own reactions and responses, effectively.) While it's possible to accurately intuit what is going on with someone else in a split second, and you can get to the bottom of what you both they really want and need incredibly quickly, when there's enough trust and safety established between you both that you can just cut straight to the point, for those who weren't born under the intuition tree, learning to decifer what is what within the layers of sensory and intuitive awareness can take a hefty number of conversations and external feedback, before one starts to become truly confident in and trust in their ability to read others (and ourselves) well. Until BOTH parties involved are able to communicate at a level beyond getting caught and stuck in each others wounds and projections, and instead stay "centred" and connected to the ultimate truth of what the soulful objective is of the interaction in the first place.
But people who are clear in what they want/where they're at, and clear in communicating what their needs and expectations are with each other, are better able to give in service to each other, without ending up feeling in deficit or resentment. Thus, If we want to be better at human relationships of all forms in this life time, dare I say it that, then I think we have to be willing to work on both self awareness and communicating where we're really at, while staying in connection with the part of us that genuinely cares and wants to be in service to the highest potential of the other party and see them happy and thriving. And then:
3- We need to make TIME for each other to have face to face conversations with the people who matter the most to us (and the people we've made an agreement to be in service to), in which each party is fully present and non-distracted by "life"
it is very hard to do EITHER of the above things well, until we MAKE time to have such conversations, in a scenario in which we have deliberately allocated a decent amount of our time, presence and space to do so, via a medium (whether face time, or face to face) in which to do so. So much of the reason relationships, work and personal, are so under pressure these days, is because both parties are so busy being overwhelmed by the demands of work, business or life, that in reality, we DON'T actually bring a) the full attention to that interaction with any given person that they deserve or b) end up making time to follow back up and check in about it AGAIN, beyond the initial conversation. And the quality of our interactions and our present and potential future relationships suffer when we don't. And if you're anything like me, I imagine you wouldn't want people thinking that you don't really care, for all the wrong reasons, right? If you want to show that we care, then we need to make the time. And make the time to keep checking in, over time.
So there you have it, there are 3 ways (at a little more) in which we can start to clear up the confusion with each other, in relationships of all kinds, about what it is that both parties actually really want and stay connected to what it is that both parties really need. Which not only shows them that we DO care, but is I think pretty KEY to maintaining the right kind of personal and professional relationships, over the long term. Not to mention, salvaging the right kind of personal and professional relationships we might otherwise resign to thinking that we've lost. Not always true, sometimes we just have to up our mastery, our A'game on the art of being fully "self expressed."
Until next time....
Nat talks about Self Expression, Heart Centred Communication and Lifestyle for Leaders.