The under-valued, but essential 21st-Century skill is recognizing good advice—relevant, forward-thinking, practical insight—and knowing what to do with it.
This crucial skill expands opportunity as it overcomes or counterbalances deficiencies, increases advantages, and diminishes problems.
The results include lowering stress, reducing anxiety, and enhancing outcomes.
Change and uncertainty are now standards.
The pervasive influence of both means that to successfully navigate the future, you can no longer rely entirely on your own experience and knowledge to forge ahead.
Achievement in this ever-changing world demands flexibility and resourcefulness based on confident decision making, clear strategic thinking, and an open receptive mind—none of which are commonplace skills.
Experience makes you confident that you have all the answers for clients, but you may not know what the new 21st-Century questions are and will be.
Consciously merging and purging the past and the present can strengthen the Communication Edge—the point of contact, in all forms and variations, and the depth of connection with target prospects and clients—and lead to a brilliant future if you commit to taking on the challenge.
To discover where there’s Room for Improvement in your thought processes and decision-making, ask yourself trigger questions like those in the following list.
Don’t answer all of them thoroughly at this stage. Select a frame of reference, an aspect of your business or life. Read a question and open your mind to discover what fills that mental space. If one question stands out, start there:
- Which “sure things” have turned sour in the last six months in spite of my investments of time and money? In the last decade?
- Have I chosen safe or well-trodden paths to follow even if it means compromising my dreams or ethics, and, if so, at what cost?
- Do I make commitments to myself and others based on how I hope things will turn out, and find myself continually disappointed, or continually disappointing others?
- Am I so sure about what I can and cannot do that I repeatedly take unnecessary risks, or I am inflexible in too many areas leaving little room for experimentation?
- Have I consistently under-estimated or undervalued my abilities, skill, or intelligence and, therefore, set my goals and standards too low, or expected too little of myself and others?
In short, do you know what your recurring or predictable patterns are, or are they only visible to others?
Business or Executive Coaching is an increasingly popular solution to the issues raised above. The range and style of coaching and skill are as varied as the problems professional coaches help clients solve and the strengths they help clients amplify.
Today’s professional coaches are intent on advancing their profession, career, and the skill they bring to client engagements, as coaching sessions are called. The annual, online World Business and Executive Coaches Summit (WBECS), which provides high-quality, educational programming for its more than 20,000 attendees, represents the largest coaching event and community.
WBECS is intent on significantly raising the global standard of coaching and is open to suggestions. Local chapters of professional coaching organizations are a good place to begin your search for the right match.
Coaching trends mirror changing client contexts and evolving needs.
Expect and demand the right coach for you. That means one ready for the changes and challenges you face and for those you do not see yet. For instance, according to Dr. Peter Hawkins, Professor at the UK Henley Business School, and author of Research Report—Tomorrow’s Leadership and the Necessary Revolution in Today’s Leadership Development,
“This growing recognition that leadership is becoming a more collective rather than an individual activity has led many of the companies…to talk about how their development activities focus on ‘developing intact teams while they are doing real work’—this can be boards, executive teams, operational teams or project teams, rather than sending individuals away for leader development programmes. We are seeing the rise of small agile teams with greater fluidity that form and disband, self-organise, are multi-located, multi-generational, and need to establish trust and relationships fast and effectively.”
Are you receptive enough to new ideas and new approaches to let down barriers? Will you work with a coach determined to help you achieve the goals you identify and meet challenges that are a priority?
Excerpt from “What’s Your Point: Cut The Crap, Hit The Mark & Stick!” by PJ Wade TheCatalyst.com. Chapter 3: Forward Thinking
Action…NOW Me — Know-It-All: Who Me?
After years of experience, I realize that the confidence I have gained in my depth of knowledge and skill could make me susceptible to the “know-it-all” syndrome. My professional self-assurance could make me over-confident and less receptive to other points of view without me even realizing it.
How receptive am I when someone—especially someone I do not consider as knowledgeable or smart as I am—offers an opinion different from mine, or even gives me advice?
- How do I react when someone disagrees with me?
- What irritates me and why? How visibly do I react?
- Do I listen more than I talk?
- What do I do to consciously shed unproductive habits and ideas?
I cultivated an image appropriate for building confidence and earning trust in prospects and clients. Am I still as effective as I think I am?
- I know that if I really want to learn about myself, I should ask those close to me how receptive to advice or other points of view they think I am. Do I take advantage of this opportunity often enough?
- When I ask them for specific details, including what body language tells them about my receptiveness and what topics I seem most sensitive to, what do I expect to hear?
- When I ask for advice and receive it, I understand that I should listen, thank the advisor sincerely for their ideas, and consider what was said, even if I disagree with them, but can I do that?
- On a scale of 1 (100% shut down) to 10 (100% completely open mind), how do I rate my receptiveness to new ideas? What’s the most recent example of this level of receptiveness?
For more on the next step forward, visit these posts:
- Social Purpose: Falotico & Social Purpose
- 5 Foresight Strategies for Avoiding Hindsight Remorse
- 4 Signs of Invisible Procrastination
- An example of extrapolation: Coaching in the context of the financial and real estate industries. What can hold you back? Are you prepared for coaching success?
- An example of extrapolation & social purpose: 5 Tips for Successfully Pursuing Social Purpose
For more on PJ’s work as The Catalyst, visit www.TheCatalyst.com
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