When I started my consulting business, I found I was attracting a wide range of businesses and they were asking for an even wider array of support. I remember one day speaking to my business coach, feeling overwhelmed, inadequate, unworthy and having a keen sense of not performing at my best. The words that tumbled from me included:
- I’m not interested in Investigations
- I’m not a Work Health and Safety person
- I’m not a Compensation specialist
- I’m not, I’m not, I’m not
On that day, she said the best thing she could have said to me: “You don’t HAVE to be all things to all people, let’s start talking about what you ARE.”
That conversation turned everything around for me. I realised I couldn’t perform to the level I expected of myself if it was outside my “sweet spot”. From that day on, I began to focus on what I AM and what I CAN.
- I am a hard worker
- I am passionate about developing people in the Community and Health sectors
- I can create order from chaos (I love my systems!)
- I am an enthusiastic and effective trainer
- I am a relationship-builder
- I am an organiser and a leader
- I am caring of humans (and animals)
My consulting moved from being a “one stop shop” to joining the collaborative service offering of Being More Human. I do what I love and I perform! I’ve surrounded myself with others who perform in their sweet spots: IR, Mediation, Strategy, Executive Coaching, Generalist HR, Organisational Development, Counselling & Psychology, Work Health and Safety.
Working with a group of people with shared values, who are loyal, respectful, have integrity and appreciate each other’s strengths lays a strong foundation for a high-performing team.
When speaking with clients and their employees, I often hear conversations about what people are not. Imagine the outcomes we’d see if this narrative was switched.
As a leader you can identify your people’s passion and strengths. Recognise people for what they are (rather than what they’re not) and provide opportunities for them to work within and develop their strengths wherever possible.
As a team member you have the chance to appreciate and verbally recognise others’ strengths, to learn from your colleagues and share your own knowledge.
And as an individual, in charge of your own performance?
Well, I’ve spent much of my life focusing on my own stories, such as:
- I’m not consistent
- I’m not a tidy person
- I’m not 100% calm
- I’m not great with money
- I’m not sporty
- I’m not as clever as…
- I’m not good enough
- I’m not, I’m not, I’m not
In recent years (and with the wisdom of middle age), I now focus on what I AM because I’m so much more than what I’m not. This is what I know to be true:
- I am fun
- I am kind
- I am creative
- I am continually striving to better myself
- I light up the people around me
- I care about the world and the people in it
- I am a great mother and friend
- I am a glass half full
- I empower and inspire others
- I am, I am, I am
If you change that internal narrative, imagine how much more your light will shine. Notice your strengths, work with these strengths and share them with your team (be it work, friends or family).
Watch the performance begin.