It’s funny, when you think you know what somebody else needs, they will invariably prove you wrong!
I’ve had a reminder of this myself recently with my own business.
With the changes to our lives and the economy, I was planning to pivot my coaching business to focus more on the group coaching side of things. I was expecting that people would currently be most concerned about their own cash flow, and so this change seemed totally logical to me.
Whilst group work is not necessarily in my comfort zone, I saw lots of talk in the industry about group coaching because of the current situation and decided that I ‘should’ offer this as a new service.
But of course, life proved me wrong, and this month I have had more one-to-one coaching requests than I’ve had since March. So the group side of things has had to take a back seat for the foreseeable.
It’s not for me to say what individual people need – it’s for me to listen when they tell me.
And that’s really the theme of my post today – taking on board the feedback and accepting it as it comes, not pre-judging or trying to change it.
What might this mean for your own business or career
In terms of the work that you do, if you are the business owner then it is going to be so beneficial to your business to get customer, staff and audience feedback on what you are offering.
You could do something as simple as invite people to take a short survey, to give you some insight into what your tribe actually wants from you and are willing to pay for. This kind of insight can really make or break a business.
If you are in an employed role it is also easy to assume what your boss or team mates need from you. But when did you last ask? A simple gesture like asking instead of assuming can go a really long way in terms of building a good working relationship, and can prevent a lot of misunderstanding or unmet expectation.
What might this mean for your relationship
This also reminds me of the classic divide in relationships. It’s not uncommon for one half of a partnership to approach their partner’s problems or bad day at work with a shopping list of possible solutions.
The generalisation here is that one partner will try to fix problems, where often the other person just wants someone to vent to. So in giving a list of solutions, where they only wanted a shoulder, you are causing more frustration.
Do you know what I mean? Perhaps you have experienced something similar yourself, maybe in a friendship situation?
So in summary, I just want to say this; ask, don’t assume. Then adapt as needed.
No matter what is going on in the world, we can all make our own lives and the lives of those around us a little easier by being flexible and responding to real needs.
And in order to find out what those real needs are, you simply have to ask.