HATE IT, BUT USE IT
If you feel lost, disappointed, hesitant, or weak, return to yourself, to who you are, here and now and when you get there, you will discover yourself, like a lotus flower in full bloom, even in a muddy pond, beautiful and strong.
A few years ago, I had a sudden idea (of which I have at least 50 a day, and sometimes it is quite tiring), I invited Dawn Campbell holistic master coach, author, and mentor to come to Budapest and host a 4-day Holistic Health Coach training.
Dawn, even though she is originally from the United Kingdom has been living in France for the past 12 years. We met for the first time at a workshop the year before, and after this were in touch via email and Skype. The next time we met in person was at the airport, when she landed to teach at this workshop for more than 20 participants.
She told us her story, of the time when she moved to France, how she had to transform her business, which previously was operating in the UK. There she was a successful executive coach, working mostly with CEOs, meeting them in person. So, when she moved to the French countryside, or as she calls it, the middle of nowhere with her husband, she had to change her business completely. Today in 90% of her time she works on Skype, with clients from all over the world.
During the workshop, when she was talking about this style of work, many from the group commented, that as coaches, psychologists or consultants, they cannot imagine working with a client without actually meeting them in person.
During this conversation, I started to think about why it is so easy for me to work on Skype with my clients from the very first moment, so that I do not feel uneasy at all. I work via the internet most of the time, and my coach used to work with me like this as well. Even at that time, I was participating in two trainings, both of which were held on Skype, as both trainers were located on a different continent.
This meant I did not have to give up on learning from who I thought was the best, even if we don’t live in the same country. Neither me, nor my clients need to sit for hours in a traffic jam, when we work together. The work can be continued in a freely chosen environment, instead of a grey meeting room, or a noisy café, or perhaps in an office, where my client is not happy anymore. When I would like to visit my friends in Barcelona, I can plan a longer stay, because I do not need to suspend my work, and I don’t need to stop travelling either.
And then I remembered…
When I was 17, and we moved back to Hungary from Africa, my parents decided that while I take some extra classes to prepare myself for college, I should work something (it was also the law in Hungary at the time – everyone had to work, who was not in school). At that time two new 5 star hotels were opening in the city centre, right next to the Danube, and one of them was recruiting for telephone operators. As I had free time and it was important that I do not forget English, I started to work part-time in this international hotel.
I worked for 3 years as an operator, and started college during this time. Obviously, this job is not the fanciest of all jobs, but I liked it. I thought it was an important job, because my “Hello, how can I help?” was the first point of contact for the guests, and thus their first impression of the hotel. I was lucky, because I was trained in this exclusive environment at a very high standard to speak with ease and in good style, and raise confidence when talking to strangers.
Later, working in international tourism I often had to find and build business relationships over the phone, and the fact that we did not meet in person was never an obstacle. For example, I had a successful cooperation for at least 10 years with a lady from the Maldives, before I met her at a trade fair. I recently added up how many countries I had negotiated with, and it was at least 60!
I don’t list my telephone centre job in my cv, because I do not think of it, as th the most important part of my professional journey. However, there is a good chance, that this experience has contributed to me being able to work so effectively with a client on Skype, the same way I would in person. To me a voice itself, or the intonation carries as much information as a gesture, or a visible expression. And many times, without a camera, or the discomfort of a personal meeting, clients show more of themselves, than they would otherwise.
Then I remembered something else. Many of my clients complain about doing work that they find boring, that they really dislike, or that is not the right fit for them. They talk about it bitterly, how they feel that they have wasted many years of their lives, by creating boring statements and reports, attending useless meetings, working on projects that have no meaning for them. And it is quite usual, that to ditch the bad memories, they also throw out whatever they’ve learnt during that disliked job.
When they realize, that despite their earlier judgement, many useful things can be added to this list, and they end up looking at that work in from a much better perspective.
The lady with the boring financial analysis job realizes that the day-to-day structure of her work, the system approach, and the strategic aspects will come in handy when she launches her new business, which will have nothing to do with finances.
Or the IT guru, who has directed many projects worth millions of euros, now sets up his freelance work with similar precision.
If you liked these thoughts, please share.
And if you have any questions about how you can change the way you work, so that it inspires you, please write to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wishing you wonderful days.