Many years ago I hired Kent Blumberg as my business coach. Kent is a seasoned executive with an awesome background, and was just starting his executive coaching business.
I remember many things from our meetings and emails, but one thing stands out for today’s post.
I expressed frustration that the people I was pitching JibberJobber to (specifically, outplacement firms, universities and other companies that should have used/recommended/incorporated/licenced JibberJobber) just didn’t get it.
HOW STUPID COULD THEY BE TO NOT GET IT?
JibberJobber was only the greatest thing for job seekers to hit the market since, well, forever.
It was obviously a very useful and much needed tool, and every job seeker should have been told about it.
State workforce services should have recommended it day and night, for obvious reasons.
University career services should have been talking about it in workshops, emails, etc. It clearly provided value to their clients.
That’s what I thought. And my frustration was obvious. Why weren’t these people able to see what was so simple?
Kent kindly let me know that it was NOT their fault they didn’t get it. I couldn’t say they were ignorant, uncaring, stupid, or anything like that.
If they didn’t get it, it was my fault.
WHAT? My fault they couldn’t spend a few seconds putting 2+2 together? How much handholding did I need to do?
Indeed, even though I was offended by what my coach was saying (I’m guessing coaches regularly help clients see where they are, indeed, wrong), I knew he was right.
My communication was not clear. It was not concise. It was not strong. I’m sure I did a poor job helping people see the value. I don’t know why – perhaps I got caught up in the features, or something emotional and of-the-moment.
What I learned from Kent was to stop blaming them for not getting it, and reevaluate what my communication was to them.
I see the same thing with job seekers. Some try to be clever with their pitches, and no one gets it. Some are too humble or shy, and no one gets the final message.
Let me be your Kent for a second… if you are frustrated that no one around you “gets it,” look at what your communication is (or isn’t), and fix that. Don’t blame them. It’s your job to communicate well enough so they can get it.
It is really your responsibility to do your job communicating right.