I remember sitting next to Daisy at a business lunch. She impressed me by the diligence she put into ensuring that her staff got the training they needed and by the way she ensured that they could put into effect what they had learnt.
Eventually, I turned to her and said, “So who trains you, Daisy?” Of course, like many business owners she had neglected to consider her own needs. After a couple of meetings, she decided she wanted to be a client. She even got funding from Business Link to go towards our modest costs.
At emotional intelligence at work we often coach everyone in the business. This is entirely feasible in businesses under 16 or so people (and the vast majority of businesses in the UK fall into this category). In one of the meetings, I asked Daisy what she would like me to coach her staff in. She replied that they were always complaining how busy they were, but they didn’t seem to achieve much.
Notwithstanding the funding offer, Daisy never became a client. She was always too busy to fix a date in the diary for the first session.
Before reading our take on this situation, below, what do you think was going on here?
When I asked Daisy what was going on in her team, it was really to find out what her issue was. In any such group, where there is a strong (but not necessarily effective) leader, his or her stuff will be acted out by the group. Put like that, it sounds far fetched, but it isn’t really. People in teams do what the leader tells them to do, on the whole. Telling what to do includes implied statements such “around here, we do it like this”. If the team members see the leader behaving in a certain way, over time they are bound to emulate it – particularly if they have been recruited in the first place to collude in this ‘game’.
The fact that in this case, as in so many, the communication both ways is subconscious – and therefore everyone is unaware of it – doesn’t affect the dynamics one jot.
‘Busyness’ – as opposed to business – was the order of the day here. We use being busy as an excuse for not doing the things that will move the business forward. After all, if we are busy, isn’t that good? But are we doing the most useful things?
So why would Daisy not want to move her business forward? This is the point at which speculation becomes no more than speculation. However, it is fair to say that many people have a fear of the next step. They use this fear to hold themselves back. Approximately half of them have a fear of failure and the other half have a fear of success. It is always a defence against an imagined disaster which will not happen.
> How we help diagnose the problem
by Jeremy Marchant . © 2013 Jeremy Marchant Limited . uploaded 5 march 2013 . image: Free images
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