Recently, a group of consultants were meeting and we were talking about our different styles. The woman who jumpstarted the conversation boldly stated that if her clients didn’t like her tattoos, her quirky sense of humor or her bluntness, then she wasn’t the right consultant for them.
It made me think about my own qualities as a consultant. I think that I have pretty good awareness of my strengths and weaknesses. For instance, I am incredibly anal when it comes to being professional. In fact, I’ve gotten “dinged” for being too formal and for not letting my clients see the lighter side of my personality. It’s something that I continue to try and work on, but it stems from a variety of reasons. As my client, you are paying me and your time is valuable. I don’t want to waste your time telling you about my latest antics (of which I have many!). On the other hand, I also realize that we’ll probably have a better working relationship if we’re on friendlier terms (which is different than being BFF’s!). Last week, I gave a presentation and a participant responded afterwards saying, “You are funny!” I recognize that I need to let that part of me shine more – and be a bit less reserved.
It’s interesting how your personal and business lives intertwine sometimes. I recently asked my BFF of 10 years what patterns she sees in my dating life. After a few moments of careful consideration, she replied, “You are pretty guarded. But once you decide that you’re in, you are ALL in!” Hmmmm…. that sounds very familiar, and in alignment with how I do business! There are a lot of reasons why I am “guarded” – but mostly because my time is valuable. So maybe I need to be a bit less reserved in my dating life, too?
I’ll have to think about that. Meanwhile, at least I know with certainty what I can offer. And, if it’s not a good fit – in business or dating – I’m totally comfortable saying, “I’m not your gal.”