So I have been away a while – and I have had an extended break from writing. We went down to visit Trish’s family in Australia. Whilst we were there I had somewhat of an epiphany. And it’s been a long time coming. So I thought I’d share the lightbulb moment with you and see what your reaction is.
If you have been following the blog, you will have noticed I primarily write about two topics. The first is customer experience. The second is personal improvement.
Finding my purpose
Those of you who know me well, understand I have been trying to ‘find my purpose’ over the past year or so. I have been feeling like whilst I know a fair bit about customer experience after 20 years in the space, I might have fallen out of love with some of the aspects of the work I have been involved with.
During 2015, I invested a lot of time, (and indeed some money,) on my personal development, but I struggled to articulate WHAT I was going to focus on. That has been eating away at me. Can you relate? Have you ever been in a similar position? How about the last time you changed jobs or made a career change? Bet you went through something similar.
Well, I have been studying a number of people I admire. Watching how they live their lives. Listening to what they have to say about where they get their influence from, and what drives them.
Last year, whilst attending one of the Professional Speakers Academy events, I heard something that cut through to the core. It was this idea that we live in one of four states of mind. An established NLP model exists but I also believe this originated more in the religious and spiritual space. The stages are:
- To me – life happens to me, I have no control, I am a victim
- By me – if I don’t do it, it doesn’t get done, it has to be done by me
- Through me – I realise I’m part of something bigger, I trust myself to let it flow through me
- As me – this is nirvana. A ‘higher’ spiritual place that few of us will attain.
What I learned on that day was that to reach the ‘through me’ stage, I have to let go of control. This is the journey I have been on ever since. I know I want to make a different to other people and I have been trying to work out HOW. I had to let go of that and trust it would come ‘through me’.
Fast forward to Australia
Trish’s Dad was in hospital when we arrived. He had been for a couple of weeks already. We made it our mission to get him home again before we set off back to the UK. In all, we spent five whole weeks in Australia. Now before you get all excited about our first world problems of what to do with ourselves in a country like Australia, I should like to point out we spent almost the entire time inside hospitals in Port Macquarie and then in Sydney.
So here’s the thing. Our twice-daily 90 minute drives up and down the Pacific Highway between ‘home’ and Port Macquarie in New South Wales provided me with a good deal of thinking time. Trish did all the driving – what a saviour!
Whilst we were at the hospitals, I busied myself chasing down Doctors and nurses, seeking answers and progress in his diagnosis, whilst Trish kept him company and humoured him with stories about our life over here in the UK and such.
I wrote this post during the first week on the ward. I observed a lot. All manner of things that jarred with me from a patient experience perspective. But that’s for another day.
You see, when the day finally arrived when we were able to discharge ‘Pa’ and take him home, I had my epiphany. It dawned on me that what I had been really good at during those five weeks was communication. I have learned a huge amount over the past 20 years about channeling my passion and helping people – and it’s all down to communication. Articulation. Brevity. Clarity. Delivery. Empathy.
My role had been to understand what my Father in law actually ‘wanted’ to happen; to represent those views in conversations with Doctors and nurses from many different parts of the same hospital and to make sense of the myriad of information that was being presented back to him and us to help us arrive at a plan for his future.
A man on a mission
My mission since that day has been to focus on helping people around me become more effective communicators. I want to work with business owners and decision makers to help them deliver better communication to their clients (patients, customers, clientele, etc.) and to grow their businesses as a result.
Customer expectations are set in advertising, on websites and in marketing collateral. They are then delivered upon throughout your lifetime of experience with that organisation. There is often a mismatch. Many times that can be addressed with (better) communication.
I have a wealth of experience to call upon and I stand to make a difference to a good many people now I know what I’m meant to do. So whether you might need help building your authority in your market place, in establishing your brand promise or improving the communication between you and those you serve – let me know what’s on your mind.
Please do share this article with your friends and colleagues. Even more importantly, leave a comment and let me know what thoughts I have provoked. What questions do you have right now?