Scan Magazine, Issue 126, July 2019

Page 99

Scan Magazine  |  Business  |  Column/Calendar

Unzipped advice

By Steve Flinders

The first lesson a new coach has to learn is to zip it. When someone comes to you with a challenge, the overwhelming temptation is to jump in with advice. Coaches are taught to keep quiet. A good rule of thumb is for the coach to be the one talking no more than 20 per cent of the time. Two reasons for shutting up are: First, the coach’s understanding of the problem is only superficial compared to that of the coachee. It’s ill-advised to give advice about something you know relatively little about. Second, the coachee is far more likely to feel ownership of the solution if it comes from them, not someone else. We don’t get empowerment from being told what to do. The coach’s job is to listen, to encourage and to ask the questions that help the coachee move forward. Having said all that, I, like you, still burst with useful advice, so here are four life maxims that I wish I had learnt sooner than I did: 1. ‘It’s OK to say no’. Until we learn this, we

spend too much time serving other people’s interests and neglecting our own work-life balance. Hard at first – but it gets wonderfully easier with practice. 2. ‘Don’t worry about what other people think of you’. We should know what they think but shouldn’t let the nasty stuff get to us. Try to sort the valid criticism from the rest dispassionately. 3. The worst thing that can happen is a catastrophe’. Not a real catastrophe, but most of what we worry about is relatively trivial in the greater scheme of things. Some people spend so much time worrying about what might happen that they neglect to enjoy what does happen.

4. ‘If what you’re doing isn’t working, try something different’. Don’t dig yourself into a hole. Be open to alternatives. A coach can help with these. But beware those who give glib advice.

Steve Flinders is a freelance trainer, writer and coach, based in Malta, who helps people develop their communication and leadership skills for working internationally:

Business Calendar

By Sanne Wass

Scandinavian business events you do not want to miss this month Fourth Nordic Blockchain Summit The rise of blockchain – the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies like bitcoin – is bringing new opportunities to a range of industries. The fourth Nordic Blockchain Summit will gather decision makers and business leaders from different backgrounds to look beyond the hype and discuss opportunities and challenges that arise through blockchain innovation. The event is organised by the European Blockchain Centre in collaboration with the IT University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen Business School and University of Copenhagen. Date: 16 August 2019 Venue: IT University of Copenhagen, Rued Langgaards Vej 7, 2300 Copenhagen, Denmark

SCC business breakfast: London after Brexit The Swedish Chamber of Commerce for the UK will kick off a new season of its breakfast briefing series with Rajesh Agrawal, the depu-

ty mayor of London for business. Born in India, Agrawal moved to London in 2001, where he founded RationalFX and Xendpay, two fintech companies, before he took on his current role in 2016. At this roundtable discussion, which will be chaired by Maj-Britt Krejcir, CFO and deputy UK country head of SEB, Agrawal will speak about the plans for London post-Brexit. Date: 5 September 2019, 8.30-10am Venue: SEB London, 1 Carter Lane, London EC4V 5AN, UK

FBCC: Crayfish Party This year, the Finnish-British Chamber will host its annual crayfish party at Ekte Nordic Kitchen in London. The event will include everything that makes a good Scandi celebration: welcome drinks, canapés, a three-course dinner, dessert, wine, snaps and cheerful songs. This is an ideal networking opportunity, and the organisers encourage guests to bring along clients, colleagues and friends. Date: 5 September 2019, 6pm

Venue: Ekte Nordic Kitchen, 2-8 Bloomberg Arcade, London EC4N 8AR, UK

Nordic Edge Expo The Nordic Edge Expo, hosted in Stavanger, Norway, is all about making cities and communities smarter. It offers a platform for exhibitors to showcase their smart city solutions and meet decision-makers, investors and technology providers. The exhibition covers a broad range of themes, including mobility, energy, renewables, infrastructure, enabling technologies, health, city governance, citizen involvement and smart living. Date: 24-26 September 2019 Venue: Stavanger Forum, Gunnar Warebergs Gate 13, 4021 Stavanger, Norway

Issue 126  |  July 2019  |  99

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