I’ve introduced the work that I do as a business confidante and so thought it was time to tell you more about the work I do as a business locksmith. And no, by that I don’t mean that I have perfected the art of picking locks in the physical sense …
From time to time I’ve referred to the unlocking conversations that I have with clients, be they business owners and leaders or an individual or even one of my young nephews. And why do I call it an unlocking conversation? Because it does what it says on the tin. In the conversation we unlock potential in the business and/or the people and this may or may not include clearing blockages but nearly always includes understanding how their thinking has an impact.
The way I see it is the business is the lock and the person or people are the key(s) and if the lock and key(s) aren’t working in perfect harmony then this impacts on the business in so far as it stops potential being unlocked in the people and the business and so there are missed opportunities in many ways and on many levels. To put it simply not all of the business will be open to the owner/leader and the people or not all of the owner/leader and the people are open and available to the business.
You know how it is when sometimes the lock is stiff and so it takes a number of attempts to unlock the door? And how much energy that uses and how frustrating that can be? Well the same happens to the business and the people and so time and energy is expended on making the lock work as opposed to working on and in the business to grow it and make a difference.
And other times the key gets jammed in the lock – this is even more serious as you need to either drill the lock out or dismantle it, which may or may not damage the keys at the same time. So just imagine what’s happening in a business where there is no movement whatsoever. The people can’t get on with doing what they do best, the business can only stand still, the people may be suffering in a variety of ways and the business is almost certainly to be suffering.
And what about when the key just doesn’t quite fit? You try to make it fit through all sorts of manoevures but the truth is that unless there’s a slight adjustment to the key it’s never going to be the perfect fit for the key and lock to work in complete harmony. Sometimes there needs to be a slight a adjustment to the lock for perfect movement but the main work, however slight, needs to be on the key. You know when things aren’t quite working for you in the business or in a role – it might be that you need to hone some skills or that you need to adjust your thinking and your actions – on occasion you may need to be told that’s the case and on others you know for yourself; or alternatively someone in the business would benefit from additional training and or coaching.
Other times it may feel that you are trying to use a mortice key in a yale lock and that simply will never work. This could mean that the someone within the business is no longer a good fit or that you and your business are no longer a good fit. Hard to accept sometimes but usually something that you know inside when connecting with your wisdom. Once these situations are clear and understood there’s usually a great relief although getting to a full resolution can take time and often support is needed whatever that resolution may look like.
And as I’ve written about recently sometimes businesses and business owners and leaders have taken steps to batten down the hatches to protect the business but so much so they’ve taken things too far, essentially locking themselves out of the business
The tools that I use to help business owners and business leaders are unlocking conversations using six principles to UNLOCK the business, the potential in the business, and the potential in the people. And I’ll be sharing these principles over the next couple of blog posts.
If you’d like to find out more about my thoughts on this, or you may feel you need some unlocking conversations yourself, then why not call me on +44 (0) 1296 681 094, click here to ping me an email or even leave a comment below.
Until next time …