Facts VS Feelings
At the onset of coaching one day I asked a client, “How are you? What’s been happening in the business recently?” He sounded concerned and replied that things have been pretty slow. My first question back to him was, “Is that a feeling or a fact?” Once again, he told me that it has been very quite. “So it’s a feeling,” I responded, which did not sit well with him. “What do you mean?” he asked. “Well, have you looked at the numbers?” “No” he replied. “Ok, great, so go look at your numbers and call me back…let’s deal with the facts.” Within 10 minutes he called back and sounded like a totally different person.
My first question to him was, “What did you find out when you looked at the numbers?” “We’re actually having a good month!,” he said quite surprised. Isn’t that interesting? The feelings didn’t match the facts at all. This is what I call blindly steering the business by feelings vs. guiding the business with facts.
People get habituated to a particular feeling they associate with things going well or not. “Going well” for this client meant being busy, phones ringing off the hook, and lots of interruptions. Once we dug a bit deeper, he realized that he associated being successful with being busy. Our coaching sessions had led him to put in many systems to manage processes and train the team to handle aspects of customer care so he was freed up to work on other aspects of developing the business. This type of order led him to “feel” like things were off.
Ask yourself, how can you make sure you’re guiding your business with facts vs. steering your business blindly with feelings? I suggest that you have daily huddles covering the critical drivers in your business, weekly reviews of the numbers that include both business processes and financial reports. Get grounded in the facts then guide your business powerfully!