Know Any Mind Readers?
The winter holidays are when people look forward to giving and getting. But gifts can be frustratingly off the mark if information about likes, wants, and needs hasn’t been gleaned, or better yet shared ahead of time.
Imagine if instead of getting the latest and greatest technology, which could have been fun and useful, you were given some gag gift that ends up in the closet, or a homemade sweater in the wrong size? If you’d only said something, both the giver and receiver would have been happier with the effort and the outcome.
It actually took me a long time to learn that people couldn’t read my mind on these occasions. Many a birthday and Christmas went by with disappointments in what did or didn’t happen until I learned that not only I could, but should, speak up for what I wanted. Once I started talking about what I liked, wanted, or needed, and asking others what they liked, wanted, or needed, the whole giving thing became much more rewarding.
You Have to Ask
The same thing is true with business. This is another setting where people can’t read your mind. If you don’t specifically ask for what you like, want, or need, it’s going to be much harder to get it.
You really do have to let people know. You have to ask. Specifically. Directly.
- Ask a prospective client for their business: “I would love to coach you. Would you like me to help you get your life back on track?”
- Ask a current client for an endorsement: “You’ve made some really great progress. Would you be willing to write me a testimonial?”
- Ask a psychologist or MD for referrals: “I often need to refer clients for assessment. Could I have some of your cards? And if you have patients who you think could benefit from coaching, here are some of mine. I’d appreciate the referral.”
As we move out of the holiday season into the new year, take some time to think about all the ways you can specifically ask for what you like, want, or need. Then put those carefully honed coaching communications skills to work and see what happens!
Think carefully of what you would like, want, or need from the ACO. And then tell us, very specifically. Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or any board member with your ideas.
The ACO Turn to Ask
Also in this New Year, consider giving of your time and talent. The ACO is in need of volunteers who have a predilection for developing or supporting either programs or marketing or both! Or, if you like to write on topic(s) of interest to our community, our editor would love to work with you to publish your article in Circle. There is really something for every one here. Just let us know of your interest and we’ll support you in developing it. Having an organization to back you can give you the momentum you need to make it happen. Again, write to me at email@example.com, or any board member with your thoughts and ideas.
Volunteering at the ACO is a great way to meet other coaches, develop supportive relationships, learn skills that benefit you and your business, and become more connected and prominent in the profession. I can tell you from my own experience that it can make a huge and positive difference, both professionally and personally. You do get what you give.
So happy New Year everyone! May you learn to ask specifically for what you and others like, want, and need, and may it be the best year ever for you and your business.
All my best,
Sarah D. Wright
ACO Interim President