Welcome to this edition of The Coaching Conversation. As we approach Christmas 2022, I'm joined by my great friend and coach at Purple Performance, Jed Hassid to review the challenges business leaders have faced in 2022.
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Graham: Jed, you've had your own coaching practice for many years, so just describe the kinds of clients that you work with and the kinds of challenges you help them face.
Jed: The people that I'm typically working with are business owners, and senior leaders of small, and medium-sized businesses. They typically have a level of curiosity which is a really great introduction to a coaching service that will help people to address the curiosity they're wanting to understand through what other perspectives can they think about their particular business. So they're looking to improve their overall business performance, or they're looking perhaps to exit, and we may well talk about that a bit later on. But either way, they're looking to enhance their performance, and they're looking to gain additional perspectives through which to consider their own organisation and achieve their particular goals.
Graham: And did you find that this level of curiosity is focused around individual problems, individual challenges? So, when they come to you, they're, they're looking for help. They've got an open mind, but they're saying, I need to grow my sales, or I need to deal with this managerial challenge. Is that the way it manifests to you?
Jed: It's both actually. I know that there are a number of challenges that could benefit from a general level of support such as an exit - leaving the business or perhaps selling the business in 2, 3, or 4 years' time. I need to focus on what I need to do to drive value in the business. That could be the driving force. It could also be, as you say, a specific issue around not getting the level of leads that we require for our business or I've got a particular person that, is a great performer but isn't impacting the business as I would like. So, there may well be a particular trigger, or it could be that there is something else I need to keep learning.
Graham: A coaching relationship can often help with that learning process. When you are coaching someone, do you find that it's a very long relationship or do you find that it's one that lasts a finite period of time and then the client perhaps comes back to you a year or two later - how does that unfold for you?
Jed: Sometimes a coaching relationship can morph into either a formal or informal element of a non-executive director type relationship, a critical figure that might attend a quarterly board meeting, or if there is a particular issue that needs to be addressed, the relationship might be a bit shorter. For those who are relatively new to coaching, I sometimes work with organisations to say We've come to the end of that particular issue, and actually, to help you get to the next level, I'll introduce you to another type of coach who will take you to that next level. So horses for courses is the real takeaway there.
Graham: That's definitely my experience. I find that I help someone and then sometimes you need someone else's input or they need somebody else's input, someone else's perspective perhaps more as a mentor rather than as a coach, but someone who's adding more to that knowledge bank than you're able to.
As we start to hurdle towards Christmas 2022, how has this year been for you? Have there been any real standout moments for you or any standout moments for your clients?
Jed: Well, what a challenging environment it has been. We've all perhaps got our views about the political tos and fros of what's been going on in the UK and indeed outside of the UK. And that has moved over into business and created a level of uncertainty that we keep hearing so much about in terms of working with clients.
However, I suppose the standout thing from my own point of view is seeing people with whom I've worked, develop a level of confidence in order to challenge maybe their MD or a particular director or maybe a colleague from a different department in a constructive way because they've gained a level of confidence; they've gained a level of knowledge from the work that we've done together. Ultimately that that just improves the quality of discussion between colleagues and the quality of the decisions that are made as a consequence of those conversations.
Graham: One of the noteworthy things I've seen continuously through 2022 across my client base has been the standout level of resilience in what has been an extraordinarily uncertain period for business owners and business leaders. And with all the background noise and negativity of all of the stuff going on, wherever it's coming from, they've knuckled down and continued to be successful. They've continued to face their challenges and they're still here, they're still coming out the other end, and they're still thriving on whatever level of Success is for them, but that, that they're still here. And I've seen so many people say to me, recession, what recession? This is business. This is where we are. This is what happens. And, whilst big factors like government changes or mismanagement or wars in Ukraine and so on do clearly impact - the macro element isn't relevant because they've just got to deal with what's on their desk or with their customers or in their moment, and they have to crack on. And so for me, one of the standout pieces has been resilience. I've been really pleasantly surprised, and impressed, even with certain people's ability to just truck on.
Jed: I absolutely agree, Graham, and with resilience, it's a short step to the topic of mindset and it never ceases to amaze me the importance that a growth-related mindset can have to be able to demonstrate that level of resilience to which you refer. They are directly linked here.
Graham: Yes, If you're thinking, I'm gonna make the best of a bad job, that's a different mindset to thinking oh dear, what's happened here - is terrible, isn't it? They are completely different views of the same problem.
As we get closer and closer to the big day, what does Christmas look like in your house?
Jed: Well, we have a bit of rest and relaxation. The place will be lit up like Blackpool illuminations, not least because my wife absolutely adores Christmas lights - so we will have to laugh in the face of the electricity bill! It'll be great fun making sure that the one-year-old Labrador that we've got doesn't get access to anything that she shouldn't!
Graham: Well, if you're lucky enough to get a Turkey, don't leave it unattended in the kitchen with the dog. Thank Jed, and goodbye.
Jed Hassid is a business coach at Purple Performance
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