Recently someone asked me, "aren't you in coaching?"
- I said I was not. “I'm more in consulting and organizational advice. "
"But wheren't you in the change business too, " he added. Yes, I said but I don't coach on it, I have a lack of patience, I added.
"Well, " maybe you can just listen to my story. That's what my coach normally does, but he is not available right now. Without responding, he began.
"You know, I'm not very good in networking. Never been actually. But I often get invitations from others, some of them ex-colleagues. You know these network sites?"
- Yes, I know what you mean.
"I normally accept these invitations, although most of these contacts are silent. Nothing else happens. "
- So what it the problem, I though. He continued:
"Actually I think that this kind of networking is only about gathering numbers. Just to add a number to you visible network. Some people have hundreds of contacts. Just amazing. Do they know al these people? And then, many of these invitations are showing the default message: Pietersen, I'm inviting you to join my network. Most of them don't even take a minute to add something personal. "
- Yes, you probably shouldn't expect too much of this.
"My problem is that I want to change. "
- . . . (I had learned that a pause was a good thing to keep people talking)
"The thing is however if I don't longer accept these invitations I'm harming the other one. So I would like to change, but I don't want others to notice it. "
- that against the basic rule of change. If You change and others don't perceive the change, you have not changed at all, I would think.
"No, you don't understand. Before I bothered about what others would think. Now I don't care too much anymore. "
- in that case you accept the invitation and that's it.
"may be. Did I ever tell you that someone turned an request of me down. I knew this person very well and an ex-colleague asked me to introduce him. But he declined. He asked me what the intention was, what he wanted. I thought it was overdone, it was just about an introduction. I decided to phone him and ask why he declined my request. . . . I have changed you know, I no longer accept everybody to my network. . . But this is what networking is all about I said. . . Yes, yes, but. "
- I remembered the story, I said, I knew that guy. . . Wasn't he . . . he was a professional c. . .
"Yes, he was, but . . . I don't see him that often anymore. . . You know what. . . I think I have a solution. I still accept any invitation, unless it is one with such a default message - please join my network. "
- There you are.
If this is coaching, I thought, it not that bad, I might even enjoy it. I need to think about my network though!
H. J. B.
© Hans Bool