I remember sitting on a bar stool at a US airport connecting to some random dude who I had just walked into the place with. As we sat down he offered to buy me a drink.
“What’s your poison?”,
he asked with a particular look in his eyes. And for some reason I understood immediately that the question wasn’t about what I felt like drinking at that particular moment, but that he wanted to know what kind of person I was.
I could have said “a beer, thanks”. And he could have just ordered it. Nice gesture.
Instead I asked him for a beer, but told him I like single malt whiskeys, and that recently I’ve been developing a taste for Mezcals.
Whiskey. Mezcal. What does that say about me?
Well about as little as someone else interpreting a dream for you. But heaps if you were to get curious about the story behind the fact.
He didn’t, and we sat there somewhat awkwardly, but if he had asked me what I liked about whiskey, the story of who I was would have begun to unfold.
I might have told him about having married into a Mexican family, about how my dad loves a good whiskey and how we’ve got a Christmas ritual to sit down and have a glass while everybody else is at church. Or I might tell you about acquired tastes, and how people can change simply by choosing to get into something, about the choices people make to connect with others, or about my friend Claudio who once offered me taste of a $200 Bourbon – but to my surprise using a pipette dripping 3 drops directly onto my tongue instead of giving me a glass (I still remember the moment vividly to this day).
And if he had held the silence after that, I’d probably told him how I miss Claudio and that last time I saw him he had gifted me an incredibly eclectic vinyl collection including 2 rare crates of 90s French HipHop. Exploring any of those stories further would open a door deep into my soul, my career, and my life, my philosophy, and you’d really get to know me…
I don’t quite remember why I didn’t ask him about his choice then. Must have been a bit self-absorbed at the time I guess.
Anywho, I had set out to write about something completely different when I started typing, and here I am talking about stories and narratives again https://rocketsupervision.com/its-a-leap-year/. I think my conversation with David Drake, the founder of narrative coaching, is still a lot more present for me than I thought. One of the insights I took away from it is that we don’t really have to ask people directly to “tell me your story”. People tell stories all the time. In fact, they can’t help it!
It may not sound like the classic story in the format we’re used to hearing in the movies or books, but they’re deep and meaningful stories nonetheless, IF we recognize them as such and make the effort to explore them. And sometimes they emerge as rich and colourful as they get, simply by asking something like:
What’s your poison?
And then getting curious…
New content: The dilemma of authenticity when scaling a coaching business. TaC#70
Many coaches are thinking about, or experimenting with scaling their coaching business to reach more people. But once we market at scale, many of us coaches find ourselves stretched too thin in the face of having to create content, write, sell, and engage a growing social media. If you’re committed to still be the one who’s delivering the work, it can feel impossible grow the business unless you’re working with a team. And once you hire content creators, copy writers or sales people, it’s inevitable that your business is not going to feel 100% like you anymore. The copy doesn’t quite sound like you anymore, the content may be not be exactly what you had in mind, and the website would look different if you had designed it yourself. This presents a number of challenges for those with high values of authenticity, and so in today’s episode of Talking about Coaching our resident coaches Siawash, Yannick and Nicki go on a personal quest to share their experiences, advice, and curiosities around what it takes to scale authentically in an effort to serve more people, but without losing your integrity in the process.
Episode 24 – How can I scale my coaching business?
Episode 38 – Do I need to be obsessed or grind long hours to be a successful coach?