I do a few things. As you know I teach balance, I write about balance, and I speak about balance. I figured out what life is made of, and what we spend it on.
In addition to this, for the last 14 years I’ve helped small and medium businesses with technology – building the web, solving problems, translating technical into simple English.
Sometimes I see parallels between the balance coaching/writing/speaking and the technology helping/designing/teaching.
When I see requests for coaching and the prospective cochee* says “one time only” that would be one of those times.
It’s awesome when people want to be coached and find balance, get more energy, find direction and or find more time for what they want. Some people, however, decide that they just want ‘one.’ One what? One time only. They just want a session, and they’ll take it from there.
In the world of technology things get broken, things need fixing, and systems need to be maintained. Sometimes something doesn’t work and a new thing has to be implemented. Sometimes the business changes, or expands or evolves and the technology has to change with it.
If there’s a minor problem, then yes I can figure out the fix, and fix it. But, I’m not doing a very good job if I don’t take a step back to see what might have caused the problem in the first place. Maybe it’s not actually broken, but it’s just outdated and will no longer work in your environment. Maybe it’s being used wrong. Even the best hammer makes a crappy wrench.
One Time Only
Fixing something only to have it happen again in a few days didn’t really fix the real problem. Saving a few dollars to apply a quick fix…
[Warning: this is the part where my brain goes “Aha! He’s trying to sell something… lalala I’m not listening to your sales pitch… lalala]
… only to apply it again and again is not very cost effective. And it can be very frustrating for both the fixer and the person getting the fix. You have to look at the system as a whole. Once you examine how things work, and how you want them to work, you can design and apply a new system. Sometimes the changes are subtle, sometimes the changes are astounding. But invariably if you just look at one single problem and just try to ‘fix’ that, you miss the big picture.
If you have ‘one time only’ or ‘one technology visit only’ or ‘one coaching session only’ then at very best you can get a fairly general answer to what must be a specific and personal (or environment specific) question. Or a quick fix to a problem that will probably return again, because it’s not the cause but the effect. You’re addressing the symptom and not the condition.
In the technology world changing to new software or email, or appliances is just the first step. You and your users have to have a comfort level using it – after you make sure it does everything you need and addresses the issue it was brought in to fix.
In the coaching world you can’t just say “well, if that happens do this.” You have to have a really amazing system and a way to visualize things – especially since some concepts are conceptual and intangible. Then you gather information, take a step back and absorb. Then you chat and listen carefully, and the coach and… that person that’s coached, work together on a system and a plan. Implement, check, revisit, monitor, smile. Enjoy more time, less stress, more energy, new goals reached.
In the tech world the same thing happens. You can’t just say oh “just do this” and then run out the door. That’s not helpful. You have to have a really amazing system and a way to visualize things – especially since technology needs to be explained in English. Then you gather information, take a step back and absorb. Then you chat and listen carefully, and consultant and client work on a system and a plan. Implement with users on board, verify, revisit, monitor, smile. Enjoy stress free productivity, more efficiency, happier users, less risk, a more agile business.
I didn’t know we could do that.
When I work with a new technology client, one of the most common exclamations is “I didn’t know I/we/you could do that.” This is in reference to a solution to a nagging issue they (and their previous IT people) have been unable to address. They’ve experienced cookie cutter answers, or worked with IT that have been married to a particular technology only *cough* Outlook. Finding that we can have a solution that fits them, and that there is a better, friendlier, less expensive, more efficient and more pleasant way to do things makes them say that.
This doesn’t really happen from a one time only visit. The first visit is chatting with humans, hearing concerns, seeing if we are a fit, and then assessing their systems and how they use them.
I didn’t know that was connected.
One of the most common aha moments I get when I work with a new coaching client is “I didn’t know those two things were connected.” or “That comes from that? Huh.” When they fill out the Balance Sheet and we delve into what they want to do – what’s in the way and their lack of time – we see connections. These connections show why things happen. In addition, their goals actually spring up from this same sheet of activities. Wanting to be more active creates a goal of taking a yoga class/getting back into archery. Wanting more energy and wanting to meet someone spring forth the goal of rewriting their dating profile.
This can’t really happen in a 1/2 hour or hour conversation. You can spout a number of quick fixes, but no matter how good you are at this sort of thing it’s a bit naive to give armchair kneejerk guidance without seeing the big picture. In fact it may be detrimental. In fact I know it is.
Friendly Advice or a Subtle Ploy. Probably Both.
So, if you’re looking for coaching guidance – to be a better speaker, get career guidance, find more time, be happier – resist the urge to do it ‘one time only.’ As I’ve tried to detail above, the value comes with having the coach work with you – together. Make sure they have a really cool tool that helps you visualize things too.
If you have technology concerns, or desires, take a step back and reach out to find someone to look at the big picture with you. Insist they speak non technical terms with you and put themselves in your shoes to determine what’s best for you – erven if that big picture doesn’t include them.
If you have technology concerns, or questions, feel free to reach out to me, I am always happy to asses and at the very least point you in the right direction.
If you’re curious about having balance – finding more time, energy and resources to do what you really want in life, take a look t alchemyfor.life and let me know if I can help.
If you find this useful, like it and share it. Thanks!
* Yeah, that’s a word, unfortunately. And it probably reminds you of Charo, or perhaps worse. Sorry I had to use it.
Mark Bradford developed a system to achieve goals, manage your energy and understand and strengthen your path – it’s Alchemy for Life.
He writes, coaches and speaks on the subject. For more information, tips and tricks, like Mark Bradford on Facebook, follow Mark Bradford on Twitter.
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