How to reach your tipping point, beyond which, life becomes so much easier.
This is important. Tipping points usually arrive just after your darkest hour, when all seemed lost, hopeless.
I don’t wish to be overly dramatic, but it is true. Although, it is also possible to avoid the need for a tipping point entirely.
One of my current coaching clients achieved this. Let’s call her Beryl (because it is fun to imagine her reaction when she reads this).
Beryl had been on a desperately needed vacation, fully expecting that she would be leaving her company, of her own volition, when she returned. She’d had a belly full of the put-downs, disrespect and discourtesy.
In a heavily male-dominated environment, she felt isolated, and nobody took her seriously – because she was a woman.
The relationship with her boss was strained. Although they’d known each other for a long time, Beryl felt he was holding her back, preventing her from engaging with senior stakeholders, and not trusting that she could do a good job. In fact, she had recently had a major conflict with him.
She had decided that, having moved from being a big fish in a medium-sized pond, to a big fish in a shark infested ocean – it wasn’t the kind of environment where she could deliver at her best.
Luckily, we had an opportunity to talk.
And then her life tipped, and I think, because of a few simple shifts to her mindset that were stimulated by our first conversation. It took a few days to think through, but the very next week she landed at work a different person entirely.
Now, two months on, she told me last week that her team, after years of being downtrodden, are now hailing her as their “hero”. The changes she has implemented have been staggering, and they are over the moon.
The pivotal change was the relationship with her boss. She got this put right, fast. Now it is evident that she is the heir-apparent. They are working the politics as a tag team. She is executing furiously, moving like the wind. In a wildly changing landscape, she is becoming one of the foremost influencers, shaping the way things happen, and the decisions that get made.
Two months ago she wouldn’t have dreamed of wanting her boss’ job. Now she is almost doing it, and as she put it “having the time of her life.”
So, how did this happen, and could you do this too?
Here are a few reflections that could help you here:
- From my perspective, the major shift happened when she decided to stop seeing what was wrong, and just work to make the best of the opportunities as they arose. It is easy to imagine the world any way you’d like to, to see obstacles where others see opportunities. The problem is, most people are working on autopilot, unaware of the choices they have made and the consequences these decisions bring.
- She decided she wanted to put her back into it, and drive forward with a positive attitude. This declaration alone is what I believe changed everything in her relationship with her boss. It reminded them of all the positive aspects, of their good history, and gave them a chance to rekindle the working relationship (well re-ignite is probably a more fitting word!).
- It was also significant that Beryl, in her own mind, gave him permission to be who is was, to empathise with his approach, to understand ad value it, even if she didn’t totally agree with his way. She gave him the space to be himself, and at the same time, she gave herself permission to be who she is too. This is more significant than you may realise.
- Finally, she changed her thinking when she was given impossible tasks to do. Yes, they stopped being impossible and became inevitable, because she had been asked to do it. “Now, how can I deliver this?”
Right now, I think she is well on her way to demonstrating many of the Nine Traits of a Professional Influencer. She still has a way to go on some of these, but I’ll pick that up with her shortly. Beryl has also made dramatic progress towards the Core Capabilities. Perhaps the biggest gap right now is improving her political acumen/insight, but hey, it’s only been two months!
On both the traits and capabilities, to be honest, she was already in a good starting place. She had invested time over many years cultivating these, so she was ready to get moving fast.
Which brings me to three questions:
- What message is there for you in Beryl’s story?
- What beliefs are potentially holding you back?
- What are you going to do about it now?
Serious about influence?
Here are three things to explore related to Beryl’s tipping point:
- Master Practitioner in Breakthrough Influence: This is an excellent way to gain the detailed understanding and the capability to implement the skills of influence. Investing just one or two hours a week over a full year, you will be able to build your foundation, strength, capability and results – fast. More information here.
- Coaching People to Influence. The practitioner programme is very well suited to those who wish to help others to influence, or train them to get the sort of transformation that Beryl achieved. If you want to learn how I make these things happen for people, and build either your team, or your business on the most important skill today, find out more here.
- If you’re stuck, or you have a massive opportunity sat right under your nose, and you are serious about doing something about it, just email me and let’s fix up a time for a quick chat. You never know, it could change everything for you. Breakthrough Influence Coaching is getting results.
Colin Gautrey is an author, coach, and trainer who specialises in the practical use of power and influence in large organisations. He has 25 years’ experience helping middle/senior professionals to survive, thrive and enjoy their work.
If you are ready to develop your influencing capability, become a member of Breakthrough Influence. If you are serious about becoming highly influential, fast, engage with Colin and he will help you get there in the most effective way possible.
Other articles by Colin:
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