“There’s an opportunity for us, instead of judging the past or the present, to look forward to the future and say, ‘This is my chance for reinvention. It’s a global chance for reinvention. We’re all in this together, what do I want to do?’” —Joey Coleman
The pandemic has caused major disruption in our world — economically, socially, and personally. How do we move forward from where we are right now? How can we look at where we are and make the conscious choice to recreate our lives and our work in new ways? In this session, Alison Whitmire, President of Learning in Action is joined by special guest Joey Coleman, for a conversation about how we can refine, recreate, and reenergize our work, our lives, and ourselves.
For almost 20 years, Joey Coleman has helped organizations retain their best customers and turn them into raving fans through his entertaining and actionable keynotes, workshops and consulting projects. Joey is an award-winning speaker at both national and international conferences competing against New York Times bestselling authors, business leaders, internet sensations, and celebrities. He’s also the author of a number two Wall Street Journal bestseller, Never Lose a Customer Again.
For so many of us on a global scale, we have experienced tragedy, pain, and loss in this pandemic. We have endured month after month of stress, uncertainty, and disconnection from our fellow humans. Many people have lost jobs and are in dire financial situations. Others have managed to hold on to some version of the life they had before the pandemic. And then another group of people find themselves doing better personally, financially, and emotionally than they were before the pandemic. No matter where we fall on the spectrum of gains and losses, our world has changed forever.
While this disruption to our world has brought on so many difficulties, if we are willing to try new things, we may just find a silver lining in our circumstances. Right now we have the chance to turn our attention to what calls us forth — to see how we can show up differently in this global opportunity for reinvention. We have a unique chance to reflect and consider how we want to move forward. We can consider:
During these times, being honest about our own needs and being aware of the needs of our clients can help us show up and serve as coaches in a more powerful and authentic way. It’s helpful to reflect back on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a psychological tool many of us are familiar with. Before the pandemic, most of us were firmly planted in self-actualization, the highest level of the hierarchy. Our basic needs were taken care of and we were free to focus on being the best possible version of ourselves. When the pandemic came along, it brought many of us back down to the bottom of the pyramid, focused on our physiological needs of air, water, and food. Our basic needs were compromised as we weren’t sure if it was even safe to breathe the air around us.
Despite the fact that our circumstances and needs have shifted, many of us are still operating from a place of self-actualization with our clients. We may be trying to coach and teach our clients to be the best version of themselves without acknowledging the fact that we may not be operating from the highest level of the hierarchy, and they may not be either. So it can be helpful to consider where our clients may be on the pyramid, whether we do this intuitively or by asking our clients directly. When we understand where people are truly operating from, it gives us a new perspective and invites us to have more thoughtful conversations with our clients. It can also be an opportunity to shift the tools and techniques we bring to the coaching session for a more meaningful experience.
Right now we have a new opportunity to consciously decide how we show up in the world. We don’t have to be limited by our preconceived notions about how to do things, instead we can allow ourselves to explore completely new ways of doing things. There’s a benefit to experimenting and trying something new. We can build deeper connections with clients if we’re willing to be vulnerable and “go first”, maybe taking a chance and sharing the ways that we’re also struggling in our own lives. As coaches this might feel like a different kind of professional relationship than we’ve had with our clients in the past, yet a unique chance to open up and allow our clients to connect with us on a more human level.
It’s important to realize that as humans, we are works in progress and we don’t always have to show up perfectly. The voices in our heads can be harsh. We might find that we beat ourselves up for a lack of energy, enthusiasm, and progress, when the reality is nothing is wrong with us. It’s simply the experience of the world we’re living in right now. We have a chance to show up and be much gentler with ourselves. As coaches, if we want to have empathy for others, we have to start with our own internal experience and be empathetic to ourselves first. We can choose to focus on being present and ask ourselves:
Living in a hyper-stressed state for over a year now, many of us are struggling more than we appear to be and more than we may be willing to acknowledge. At this unique moment in our human history, we can consciously choose to turn our attention to how we want to move forward and ask ourselves, “Where do we want to go from here?”. We have the chance to be gentle with ourselves, to be honest about our own realities, and to show up with our clients in new ways that invite a more connected and transformative coaching relationship.
Never Lose a Customer Again by Joey Coleman