Arrived in Seoul

November 23, 2010

My coaching sessions today were good, but a challenge. Notion of demand and being explicit and direct is a difficult one for some individuals. I’ve noticed this with other clients I’ve coached over the years. With audience in the room (was fun to have some of the younger folks in the office) both of my clients experienced that it is not about imposing will, but rather engaging on a meaningful level and giving the audience a reason to join in the discussion. I will work with both of the clients I had today again at the end of my trip. My sense is that given the mandate to create change in them quickly it would be best to give them two sessions close to each other.

When I return, I also will be working with one of my long-term clients, Scott—giving as he put it a “one point lesson” (golfing terminology). When I was last in Seoul, Scott and I met and had a conversation around his desire to introduce a new way to develop specific financial services expertise in Asia. His idea was dismissed by those above him. And then months later, this idea is now being spearheaded by those that initially dismissed it. Scott got lost in the mix. Scott, while culturally diverse in many ways, adheres to Asian ideas such as “an empty drum makes the most noise” and he can remain calm in the storm. This calmness manifests as quiet and gives others lots of airtime. However, there are moments when Scott needs to match some of the noise around him—or more to the point—find the way to be heard and command the authority of ownership around an idea. That is what we will focus on when we meet in a couple of weeks.

A former Communicating with Power & Presence participant introduced me to a friend of hers whom I met up with. Over a cappuccino after her workday, we talked about what it’s like to work in Korea. She has a mixed background—lived and worked in the US and now has returned to Seoul at her parent’s request. They would like her to get married. She’d rather not! Anyway, she gave me a glimpse of a young professional (she is 29) in Korea—open to an outside world and interested in things that most professionals in their late 20’s seem to care about. She is a Director in the Vice Chairman’s Office at an entertainment company. Sounds like she has opportunities to introduce and execute on her own ideas and I’m convinced she has a bright, long future ahead of her.  Enjoy these down times in between coaching where I can sit down and meet with people. I love learning about different cultures and careers and forging new relationships.

…Catching a flight to Tokyo.


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