Resisting Adaptability in Real Time

One of the most piercing coaching questions I’ve heard (courtesy of Jerry Colonna) is, “How have you been complicit in creating the conditions you say you don’t want?” Ouch.

One condition I say I want is to be “easy to buy.” I want my clients to find the process of working with me to be clear, smooth and easy.

At various points in the global pandemic, including now, I’ve found myself in a liminal space between digital and in-person meetings. The scoping conversations to plan these sessions are complicated, as there are lots of human and technological scenarios to anticipate and risks to weigh.

Although I’ve been trying to simplify those planning meetings by mapping out the choices as clearly as I can, it occurred to me that I’ve also been unconsciously likely making them worse.

Hybrid meetings are complicated to facilitate and in my experience are rarely better than either fully in-person or fully digital. In these tricky times of continuing to navigate COVID-related absences at workplaces, in-person meetings often end up being hybrid, as a handful of participants often opt to call in at the last minute. I have therefore been encouraging clients to default to digital, despite their desire to go back to in-person gatherings. In-person means hybrid. And I don’t love hybrid.

I recently learned about a piece of technology that can make hybrid meetings happen much more easily. I don’t usually bring my own equipment to a client’s site. This device is quite expensive. It requires learning yet another new way of doing things. (And did I mention I don’t love hybrid meetings?) So, I’ve resisted investing in it.

Until yesterday.

Two things changed:

  1. A couple of other trusted colleagues recommended this device to me, separately and unsolicited. They weren’t the first, but they were enough to give the idea the critical mass it needed in my head.
  2. I realized that being “easy to buy,” adaptable and relevant to clients are higher values of mine than staying comfortable and saving money.

I’ll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, staying curious about my resistance to more change and making intentional choices when my values seem to conflict with one another have both been a useful (and slightly painful) stretch for me.

Are you complicit in creating conditions you say you’re trying to avoid? Probably. Like I said…ouch.

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