I work with clients who hold back, not deliberately, but as a learned response to being put on the spot.
Not because I want to make them uncomfortable, at least not deliberately. But I do try to take them slightly out of their comfort zone to reassure them that our coaching conversation is private, recorded just for them, and they can refer to it at any time in our work together and beyond.
But they still feel the discomfort of talking about themselves, that phobia merged into their personality by parents, clergy, teachers: “be quiet,” “don’t speak unless spoken to,” a report card saying “he/she talks in class too much,” and other squashes of young, exuberant, vocal development. Yes, there’s a reason for self-control, but the additive effect is that this was overdone as I grew up.
And probably for you too. I hear others express this all the time.
I am not quiet. Entrepreneurial DNA is not quiet. We can’t afford to be. If we don’t speak on our own behalf, who will?
So often the exuberant personality traits to exude, innate in an entrepreneur, fight with the “keep quiet” imp on our shoulder whispering what was imbued in us as we grew up.
And there’s the inner conflict. I try to mediate that dilemma and ask the client to “tell me or we will never know.”
“Is a patent important?” one client asked and when I was astonished what her patent was for, we made an entire paragraph in her profile tell why earning that singular honor shows her ability to think outside the proverbial box in ways others cannot. And gain recognition for it.
“Is authoring a well-regarded book important, even if the subject is not what he does for a living?” Yes, I explained, especially since he is in a field that requires precise writing, and this just adds to the perception of his skillset. At my cajoling, he showed it in the Publications section and use an excerpt in his About section.
A PhD in a topic that is not included in your work today? No matter, tell us that you worked long and hard for this academic accolade. Cite it too in your profile in the right place(s), because it’s a differentiator to think at a much higher level.
So out of your own way, be vocal, and tell us, especially why you do what you do. If you need help, contact me. I will whisk away those cobwebs and allow you to shine even brighter.
Be amazing-er, as I call it. Which can lead to increased revenue opportunities, right? You bet!