I don’t know about you, but I never seem to promote myself in the best possible way. I remember saying once I was a coach and the chap I was talking to, said, what like a rowing boat coach!
Well, I was at a networking session this morning, which is a rare thing for me after all of the changes after Covid. I had butterflies in my tummy, and I thought what’s that all about, as I have been to hundreds of networking sessions in the past.
I used my normal formula of spotting somebody I know and after collecting my coffee headed for him as he knows a lot of people in the local area. Had a nice chat with his group of ladies and then it was time to move on. On the way to get my Danish pastry, spotted a lady on her own and had a good chat with her establishing the fact that we had met each other in the past. Once Danish pastry collected, I saw another lady on her own and had an excellent conversation with her. Later we were joined by a very astute lady who worked for the host, and it all made a worthwhile trip and event for me.
Notice the lack of conversations with men as generally, in my experience they are in closed huddles, probably talking to other men they already know. Their body language shows they are very happy with their own group and aren’t really leaving a space for another person to enter. Why are they there in the first place if not to network with new people? How do you work the room at networking events?
So, back to how we promote ourselves. In the past I have tried to establish what the other person does to try and align my type of coaching with the role or job. Interestingly, earlier in the week, one of my clients had asked what is the difference between a coach and a mentor? I had difficulty answering this as the gap between the two has closed in recent years. Mentoring used to be experts or senior managers passing on their knowledge to people in less senior positions. The 2 mentoring courses I went on were diluted coaching courses as everybody is so nervous about giving wrong advice.
After giving this topic of how to promote yourself due consideration, I still try and establish what is likely to interest the individual I am talking to. For my main theme, leadership coaching is for newly established team leaders or managers whilst my mentoring is for business owners and senior management, normally Managing Directors and CEOs. What is the difference?
The coaching is normally for 6 months setting coaching goals often focusing on things like lack of confidence and time management. Sometimes it is how they can manage upwards, often of the person who has given me the opportunity in the first place. That is one reason why confidentiality is so important in the first place. Once they have completed the programme, they are in a much stronger position to manage on their own and have often secured the position or role they were looking to attain.
Mentoring can go on for years, either on a session every 2 or 3 months, or purely when the CEO has a confidential issue they want to discuss. With Business Owners it is on a regular basis to suit them, often accountability sessions to see what they have focused on and what have they missed doing. Plus, not beating themselves up if they have failed to do one thing when they have achieved so much.
Again, with CEOs it can be more complex and the skills I have learnt through being a Coach Supervisor has benefitted me and my clients enormously. The areas discussed can vary significantly including looking at their strategy, how to get the Board on board, agenda for away days or what to do in unusual situations. How do you keep your message simple to get the key messages across to the person you are talking to? I certainly can’t go into all of this detail in 1-2-1 conversations.
As you can see, I am still trying to establish the best way of promoting myself and I will continue to fine tune what I say. If this is an area you want to focus on and want somebody to bounce your thoughts around, get in touch with me firstname.lastname@example.org