June 28, 2019

Could Your Struggles Be Your USP?

We all agreed, as we strolled.

Listening to the whoosh of the fountains…
Bathed in the gentle Summer sun…
Marvelling at the beauty in patches of wild flowers and tall grass between and encircling the sloping, manicured pathways of the golf course…

There’s something very special about the Sussex English countryside in the late Spring and early Summer.
Indeed through each distinct season.

While the historic setting of Ashdown Park added to the soothing effect on our bodies and souls.

This was a place to talk about What Really Matters, generally and to each of us.
This was a place where our shared emotional ramblings felt safe.
This was a place where being vulnerable and open seemed perfectly natural, encouraged by the enticing unfolding of our patient Mother, Nature.

We lay back into the stream of the morning, and allowed it to take us where it would.

Yes, this was a meeting to discuss the future of a business.
Yet, we voicelessly agreed that business was merely an element of our lives.
Which meant that to try and compartmentalise business questions from our Lives was both artificial and somewhat pointless.

Gradually, almost inevitably, our stories unfolded.
Some, with laughter.
And some couched and woven with pain.

Eventually, one of us uttered out loud what we were all thinking.
”Our stories are part of what we have to offer.
And our pain has become part of the wisdom we bring to our work.”

When said out loud, the truth becomes very clear.
Blindingly obvious.

None of us escapes pain in this mortal life of ours.
That comes with the journey.

The question is how we respond to that pain.

For, it can embitter us and make us brittle. It can blind and paralyse us.
Or it can endow us with an understanding, an empathy, a compassion, an insight.

And all of those qualities we can bring to our relationships in business.

So, here’s a question.
When planning and strategising; when creating propositions and services…

How much weight have you given to the uniqueness of your story?

(Given that your learning, your development, your emotions and choices have constantly been influenced by the stories you’ve encountered… the stories in your head…
…have you given others the chance to understand what your story sounds like?)

Meanwhile…how consciously do we bring the wisdom of our painful lessons into our work?

Have we even considered that we could bring all of these – our stories, our pain-endowed wisdom – to bear in blessing the lives of those we serve – our clients, our team?

Our stories.
Our wisdom.
Our understanding.

Observing my clients’ development…
I’ve come to believe they’re as valuable to the world as any ‘Service Proposition’ we might try to construct.