Coaching Aussie Style in Sydney

December 14, 2010

When I get to Sydney, I meet with my client Rick. He and I will focus his remaining sessions on issues relevant to his day-to-day, i.e. working on speeches, presentations, planning meetings, etc. We had an excellent coaching session this time around. We worked on a presentation for a high level government official regarding a project Rick is working on. I have been coaching Rick to bring more of his personality and zest for the work into his communication. He is reserved and modest and as a result can come across a bit stiff. He sits on his humor and warm personality instead of letting it come forth. The first run-thru for the presentation was a standard issue slide show. Afterward, I told him that at one point during the presentation I suddenly realized that if I were the official he was talking to, I would not be happy with this very expensive consulting firm. I wanted him to get to the point; distill the essence of the findings and help me discover the benefits and risks. I wanted him to guide me more, helping me see all of the issues and implications faster and more clearly. I wanted to be able to make a decision with some sense of the ultimate impact the huge investment would have. There needed to be some adjustments. Asking Rick what had surprised him when they began to work on the case, he had a ready answer that was both insightful and thought provoking. I helped him work that into the presentation. After incorporating these changes, he practiced presenting the second version and it was a 100% improvement. This time he provided all the data and necessary information, but it was a conversation—across the table. He never once turned to a slide (huge for Rick). I was able to envision the possibilities and the challenges which, as the official, would require me to recast expectations around the investment. More than anything, Rick was fully in it. He came alive. Afterward, he told me it was amazing the difference he felt doing it this way—it elevated his role in the room. He also realized the impact he could have managing the various officials that would be in the room. They have specific areas of focus and differing accountability. Rick would be able to unite them under the common cause and link them to each other’s accountability which would increase the likelihood of success.

This was one of those sessions where I left feeling as charged and excited as the client. I’m always invested in my client’s growth and success but it’s so rewarding to see such transformation in one session.

Spending tomorrow enjoying the city, then back to Seoul.

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