I have been struggling to write the third article in my current blog series all weekend. Although the topic is impactful, other thoughts kept crowding it out. This exact situation is why I don't have a social media calendar with days or weeks of planned posts. I am an in-the-moment gal who performs best when I am speaking from my passion.
So, pardon me for the interruption. I'll finish telling you about the power of #LetGo next week. This week, I want to share my recent experience with #SayingYes.
Sometimes we agree to something without really giving it any thought, and other times we have to permit ourselves before we act. In either case, our YES is powerful. And directing that power at the right possibilities allows EXTRAORDINARY to happen.
Last Friday, I facilitated a small company's meeting. Every employee attended. They had never held a meeting like this, although many of them had been asking for it to happen for months. Several people offered sincere words of thanks while we gathered and privately. Although only a start, the meeting was a success that affirmed for me the importance of investing my time with the right clients and work.
As I reflected on my personal affirmation, I realized that many yeses were required by both sides to create this moment. This is the story of those yeses.
YES #1: Tim Asked For Help.
At the end of July, I was Todd Meador's guest on Ask The Experts, a live call-in show that broadcasts through our local iHeartRADIO station, News Radio 840 WHAS. About halfway through the show, we received our first caller, Tim. He told us about his team of essential workers, the strain of current demands, and his plans to hold a company-wide meeting. Tim was mentally and physically tired. He knew his team morale was slipping and that he needed to pull them together, but with no immediate end in sight, that conversation was daunting. Tim was asking for help.
YES #2: We Trusted Our Connection.
I called Tim the next day to follow-up and offer more assistance. Signing him as a client wasn't my goal. I offered free thought partnership to help him gain clarity and confidence going into the meeting with his team. In our first meeting, he shared the story of how he had built his company and the challenges they'd faced in 2020. I was able to draw upon my breadth of experience and relate to his plight as he attempted to lead his team through a change that frequently stole his control, like a car hydroplaning on wet pavement. He disclosed that he saw the need for broader changes and wanted my partnership to make it happen as quickly and effectively as possible. Tim didn't interview me. He didn't ask me to produce my credentials. We had a genuine conversation, made a real connection, and that was all he required to trust me as his business coach.
YES #3: We Aligned Around A Shared Mission.
Tim's company is a typical family business. My next step was to gather feedback and input from the two office staff, both family members. Tim hired me without consulting anyone, and I was not surprised to be met with some resistance regarding the timing, nature, and general decision to invest in my services. I was an unknown in a time when everyone was struggling to keep their heads above water. However, doubt quickly transformed to trust as I listened, asked questions that spurred new thinking, and affirmed the reality they named. One person noted how helpful it was to speak out loud to someone about everything they were experiencing. We had a shared mission.
YES #4: We Didn't Let Imperfect Get In The Way Of Moving Forward.
As a seasoned veteran of change management, I counseled against building the perfect plan in the front office before engaging everyone in the company. In the end, they followed my advice because circumstances conspired against completing the work before the date of the all-employee meeting. I shared my facilitation techniques for engaging everyone and gathering their input without creating confrontation or fear. Although I had spoken with only half of the participants, I was confident that all shared the pain and desire for resolution. Although different from the management meetings he'd experienced as an employee, Tim trusted my expertise and commitment to deliver the outcomes we'd established for the meeting.
YES #5: Everyone Chose To Participate.
Everyone arrived for the meeting with little knowledge of what to expect. The meeting began with an hour dedicated to acknowledging the last few months' demands and celebrating their collective ability to ride the storm. Over and over, the company leaders shared information, and then everyone participated in group exercises to give input into the coming changes. The room filled with honest conversations that strengthened connections and commitments. Everyone participated fully.
Friday's success was the culmination of many yeses, said over many weeks by many people. Without these yeses, the outcome would likely have been different. I felt genuine pride and accomplishment on Friday, and I know that every participant did too. This was only the beginning. There is much work to be done and many changes to come. And yet, I am confident that capturing the momentum of that meeting will increase the speed and ease of changes still to come. I can't wait to share more celebrations with Tim and his crew.