Our theme this month is patience. It seems like every month I admit that I feel challenged by our topic, but for this one it seems like a real challenge in a world that has demanded quick responses as the norm. In business we’re constantly faced with the fact that customers seem to want quick responses to their situations and challenges, but we know that if we’re answering the phone every time it rings or have our email up all day long we get nothing done. And some of the answer is that it’s good to delegate that out if a truly rapid response is necessary. But things are changing and more people are expecting actually helpful responses rather than immediate ones, although they would prefer an immediately helpful response, of course.
However, what hasn’t been taught over the years is that sometimes people’s initial responses hide the truth of the situation. They may not have the issue they’re calling about, they may have an issue that is much deeper and more pervasive than what they’re telling us. For example if you’re a health coach and someone calls to work with you on their weight struggles, they may have confidence issues or deeper health issues that have prohibited them from losing the weight in the past and unless you can resolve these problems the initial presenting problem will most likely remain. The only way you can figure out what the deeper issues are is by being patient enough to listen to them and the many stories they will tell you about their life situation.
I once had an acquaintance ask me what percentage of the work I did was coaching. My answer to her was that it is all coaching because I know that even if I’m building a website or working with a parent who struggles with organization and health, that person is much more than the thing I was hired to do. Because we’re human we all have deeper emotions, memories and triggers that have made us who we are and continue to shape our future. When we don’t see that we are more than our surface and initial presentation is when we do ourselves and our clients a disservice.
I encourage you to take the time as a responsible business owner to always try to give your clients the best. No, not all will accept that they need more help or ask for it, but for those who do the rewards for all will be so much greater.
“Patience is a most necessary qualification for business; many a man would rather you heard his story than granted his request.” Lord Chesterfield