When you don’t know exactly what the problems are, nor how to solve them, then you need consulting, and that’s exactly the kind of consulting I enjoy doing.
I focus on understanding problems, issues, and obstacles deeply before choosing solutions. When you contact me, I will probably ask you a long list of questions designed to help me understand the problems you want to solve, the issues you want to explore, or the obstacles you want to overcome. I apologize if it seems like these questions challenge your judgment, but please trust me: many past clients have asked me to push the wrong solutions at them, and I don’t want to do that to you. I don’t intend to offer you any solution until I have some confidence that it will help.
Do We Need Consulting, Training, or Coaching?
I have found over the years that many companies request training when they need coaching, and request coaching when they need training. Tim Gallwey’s The Inner Game of Work makes the distinction very well:
- training focuses on increasing capacity
- coaching focuses on reducing interference
- performance is capacity minus interference.
What does this mean? Consider trying to turn someone into a world-class sprinter. No amount of time working on top-notch visualization techniques will help someone 50 pounds overweight to run 100 meters in under 10 seconds. By the same token, no amount of physical training will help a person who’s scared to death of performing in front of a stadium full of screaming fans. Only by understanding the problem can we choose sensibly between training and coaching.
In some cases, companies will request training or coaching, but after a few minutes’ conversation it becomes clear to me that they need to solve a different problem, or that if they solve the problem in front of them, then they won’t get the results they expect, let alone the results they need. In those cases it would be easy to give them what they ask for, but it would be much better to give them what they can’t see that they need.
I specialize in digging deeply to uncover the root cause of your problems. If you allow me, I will work with you to find those causes and design a plan to help you attack them.