“A real conversation always contains an invitation. You are inviting another person to reveal himself or herself to you, to tell you who they are or what they want.” -David Whythe
Never underestimate the power of a conversation you have with someone. It could quite possibly change their life.
Yesterday, I was on the receiving end of one of those conversations. As I was driving in a torrential downpour for a visit to an orthopedic hand doctor, I wished I were anywhere but on the roads. About six weeks ago, my hand developed this random pain, so a visit to my regular doctor ensued. What came from that visit was a referral to a specialist that he highly recommended. But as I am driving today, I am thinking, how did this happen and why today?
As I was waiting in my room to be seen, I heard the most pleasant conversation in the hallway and secretly hoped this was my doctor. It was. In he walked and just like any doctor, he asked, “What brings you here today?” I explained…and as he was listening, he walked over to look at my hand and asked, “So, what do you do?” I replied with a brief response of, “Coaching and consulting.” He followed up with, “Do you mean life coaching?”
I proceeded to explain a little more…that I do mainly executive coaching and that I often work with high-achieving leaders and business owners. Believe it or not, he was fascinated.
This is where the conversation becomes quite interesting. He asked with deep curiosity (I am thinking he would make a good coach himself), “How did you get into that?” To be truthful, I enjoy listening much more than telling my own story. But I shared that I am a CPA and was a partner in a CPA firm until serious health issues and burnout caused me to make one of the hardest decisions of my life and walk away at the peak of my career. I shared that I chose life – a better life was worth more than any amount of money I could make.
I thought he would think I am truly crazy, but instead, he gave me a life size compliment that humbled me to the core. And then, he started sharing some of his story with me. At that point, I realized that what I do matters. As he started a procedure on my hand, he asked, “So what’s next, politics? You have all the qualities to make a great civic leader. I just want you to remember me when you’re famous.” That comment came out of left field and made me chuckle, but the funny thing is that briefly crossed my mind a couple weeks ago. But for now, I am going to tuck it into my back pocket, wondering if this is a future sign.
This visit could have taken a maximum of ten minutes, but instead, it was about forty minutes because a very busy doctor took time for a real conversation. I am a little worried about what the bill may be, but that time was worth a lot to me. You see, I went to see him about my hand, but little did I expect the impact he would have on my heart. He helped me to see that my story matters and my work is needed. I believe this visit was pure divine alignment.
That is my reason for coaching. A missionary to the corporate world, I hope to be that powerful conversation that can quite possibly change a person’s life. I have seen it before and now I have experienced it for myself. Always remember that a random conversation is never random. You may offer just what that person needed to hear. You may be their divine alignment.
Cynthia Legg, CPA, ACC Founder of Inspired Success, is a certified executive level leadership, business, and faith based coach. A retired partner in a regional CPA firm, she helps leaders, teams, and individuals achieve greater purpose and impact and take their team and organization higher. She helps her clients to enjoy the journey of success as much as the destination of success. She loves working with individuals pivoting to a new level of greatness.