|Is there a change you've been resisting?|
I’ve had some proud moments in my life - after all I have a son who was a Yale student athlete drafted by the Cincinnati Reds - but my most recent session with a client is right up there among one of my proudest moments.
A firm in the financial industry engaged me two years ago to give a presentation for their staff and to work one on one with some of their employees on communication skills. They are a successful firm that handles billion dollar accounts. However, it was founded several years ago with a crunchy granola, mom and pop type sensibility. As they’ve gotten more and more successful, they have seen the need to up level all of their skills - communication being one of them. I did a group Communication Elevation workshop and one-on-one executive coaching sessions with several of their employees and was able to implement some immediate changes. However, one of the tasks I was given was extremely challenging and at times I thought it was going to be impossible.
I was asked to coach one of their senior employees, I’ll call him Alex. Alex is very bright and knowledgeable about the business. However, he has a regional accent with some related grammar issues. In addition, he tends to be what I call a “chain talker”- someone who rarely comes up for air and therefore dumps way too much information on unsuspecting listeners. I knew that I could give him tips and techniques to deal with his chain talking but the accent and grammar issues seemed daunting. After all, this was a 40-something year-old successful businessman and the issues mostly only surfaced when he was under stress. Fortunately, Alex was not someone who denied he had these issues. He was very receptive to feedback. But that doesn’t mean the normal resistance to change didn’t crop up.