When you reflect on your career or business so far, how many people can you think of that made a fundamental difference to you? I’m fortunate enough to be able to name quite a few but there is one that really stands out. His name is Allan.
I had just made a few huge leaps. The first was a new leadership position that I had been offered. To take up this position, me and my family would have to make the 450-mile relocation from Surrey to Edinburgh. There was also a shift in working environments. Having spent the last 5 years in the field and working from home, I was now back in an office leading a team. It was an exciting time. I was on the up. A new job, a new country and new life. It was ‘change’ on so many levels.
Allan was one of the few relationships that I could really count on in this new World. Already based in Edinburgh, he was an integral part of the organisation’s Learning and Development strategy. We had met on a number of occasions over the years and normally during rollouts of various development initiatives. He was also a skilled and qualified coach and he offered to support me in making this transition. This step up the career ladder had come with many benefits. It was access to Allan that would prove to be the most valuable.
We would meet every month or so. Our conversations would vary. Many would be focussed on a project or a difficult conversation I needed to have. Others were on a blocker or personal frustration. His skill was in creating a space and environment that was purposeful and also safe. The trust in our relationship allowed us to shift from transactional conversations to ones of vulnerability and self-exploration. Every time I’d leave exhausted from the mental work but I’d be buzzing from the clarity and motivation.
These conversations took place just a couple of years after the financial crash. When budgets were being cut and restructures were announced every other week. Processes were becoming more important than people.
It was a challenging time but I rarely wavered. I was invested in the business and engaged in where it was heading. The space and the human conversation with Allan, helped me to retain a level of control. To develop the skills to not just navigate but flourish in these turbulent seas. I could take command of where I wanted to go.
This unwavering loyalty did not offer any special privilege or protection. Within 2 years, my department was transferred to another organisation as part of a restructuring. This one did not hold the same belief in meaningful conversations or development. They were bemused on hearing I had decided to undertake a coaching qualification. My relationship and the power of working with Allan had motivated me to achieve with others what he had done for me. The transition was a lot tougher. I left within a year, burnt out and broken.
It’s pleasing to report that working with Allan directly triggered a chain of events that turned into Know You More. We’re now delivering powerful and meaningful conversations within organisations. Not only to senior leaders or the C-suite, it’s happening at a scale right across entire organisations.
This essential space for people to make confident transitions. To develop essential skills. To improve their health and wellbeing in the workplace.
Working with businesses that aspiring to develop a coaching culture by:
- grow their leadership capacity
- valuing diversity
- empowering their people
- retaining their talent
- increasing engagement
- closing the generation gap
Know You More is making these human conversations flexible and accessible through the power of digital technology. Businesses having one eye firmly fixed on the future of work and the other flicking between the skills gap and talent war. We’re hearing that our platform and coaching community is being classed as a ‘Workplace Innovation’. That makes us all immensely proud.
We’re removing the traditional geography barrier and bringing highly skilled practitioners to work with employees and teams based all over the World. Businesses can see the impact of people empowerment with little to no internal resource.
We’re hearing great stories of transformation and achievement. Of people having human conversations with such power that they now engage with their employer, their career and their life at a completely different level.
I know that level well. It’s that same fundamental difference that Allan had on me. And for that, I’ll always be incredibly grateful.