As part of my marketing strategy to promote my copywriting, editing and social media business, I spend some of my time networking. As a result, I have met some wonderful people working in all sorts of businesses. With my innate interest in “all things business” I invited Alex Petty, a Performance Coach, to tell me his business story. Here it is…
I met Alex in the company of one of his longstanding clients from the textiles sector. I was immediately struck by the confident, comfortable and compatible business relationship between the two of them. I was later to learn that Alex had guided his client through finance, policies and procedures and had significantly helped her improve the business’s manufacturing efficiency.
People around Alex describe him as encouraging and reassuring, with a dynamism and enthusiasm for business. He listens and he learns about the business and the people he is working with.
What is Alex’s background?
Alex’s family were in the film production business. He spent most of his school holidays learning the ropes. This background, which taught him a lot about people and leadership, set him in good stead for what was to follow – a career which included engineering, IT, quality management, project management, consulting and retail. Over the years, Alex has packed away a lot of experience and knowledge. They’re all now neatly packaged up and available to his clients in the form of performance coaching.
What is performance coaching?
Performance coaching for businesses is like sports coaching for sports people. Both use their experience and expertise to help people reach their full potential in their chosen field. The main focus of performance coaching is to teach new business skills and to motivate you and your team to put your new skills and knowledge in place. The end game is to help you reach a new level of business.
How did Alex help me?
With me it’s all about people, which makes living in the current time ideal, as I love social media, blogging and networking. Alex offers a variety of services from mentoring to workshops, but I was particularly interested in his DiSC and VAK personality profiling questionnaires.
I wanted to find out more about my own characteristics and how they matched against other personality types. Once this was understood, I would then be able to skilfully “suss people out”, and then adapt my business vocabulary and characteristics to best suit theirs. Easy!
I took the plunge and answered a series of questions across the two questionnaires…
What did I learn from Alex and the personality profiles?
The DiSC (Dominant/Influence/Steadiness/Conscientiousness) profile revealed my natural business style is steady (which is good) and that my adapted/learned behaviours – the person I have learned to become – is influential! Alex explained that I suppress the steady, patient, reliable and predictable behaviours to become more magnetic, enthusiastic and demonstrative in my business persona, as that’s what’s required. These are my learned behaviours.
Alex explained that, with my natural and learned business styles, I can now adapt my communication styles to suit other styles which I can now recognise and categorise. For example, when I am talking to a “D” (dominant, forceful, goal-orientated) character, he will want immediate clarity and specific knowledge as to what’s in it for him. The “C” (conscientious, dependable, careful, compliant) character, on the other hand, wants the whys. He wants an accurate and reliable business case.
Extremely useful for my LinkedIn training workshops! I will now be able to gear my 1-1 training sessions to my clients’ own personality profiles.
However, more was to come from the VAK results. This is all about people’s preferred learning styles – the way they naturally prefer to take on information and process it. Are they visual, auditory or kinaesthetic? According to the VAK results, I’m a visual learner; I like to see graphics, illustrations and doodles and I just love written directions. (I never listen properly to people’s verbal directions when I’m lost in the car!)
This, again, gave me an understanding of how to gear my LinkedIn training sessions. Some of the people who attend the sessions want to read all the notes and slides (auditory); others want to see the illustrations and flow charts (visual, like me); others want to get on and do. These are the kinaesthetic learners.
With Alex’s careful feedback and explanation, I can now ensure that the workshops I deliver have enough auditory, visual and kinaesthetic (practical “hands on”) content to satisfy all the learning styles.
What was Alex like to work with?
Alex is driven by a genuine interest in providing the best information possible to help you drive your business forward. This trait was apparent when I met him, but it was also evident throughout this project.
Whilst Alex is always professional and friendly, he also builds in some fun and cheekiness. I loved some of his terminology during the feedback session. Apparently, sometimes I can “Out-D a D”! If my natural steadiness is pushed over the line by a very dominant character, Alex says I’m likely to react quite strongly. He was quite right; I can certainly think of one or two occasions when I have felt so wronged, I have let the other person know!
If you would like to know more about Alex Petty or performance coaching, please feel free to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org for an informal chat. He’d love to hear from you. Alternatively, take a look at his website.