This Might Sting a Little…

Have you ever suffered through something to get to a better future?

This week marks the final steps to getting improved email and networking capabilities for our coast-to-coast team of business advisors. The journey started out with a simple desire to have this improvement and that tweak, and suddenly I found our team paddling across open water, avoiding this rock and that reef, with no land in sight. Just as we got to the edge of our map, a call into our internet service provider actually stopped all our internet traffic and temporarily disabled our phones. Our hope was so low it was as if we started rationing water, when suddenly our technical expert (with the right help from our ISP – finally) called out “Land ho!”

As we clamber ashore we’re at a significantly better place of higher bandwidth and virtual private networking and automatic data backups that will enable all sorts of productivity improvements. It wasn’t easy to get here, and it just might be paradise.

On a more personal note

Another journey of sorts occurred last week for me. I won’t bore you with details – let’s just say my wife and I decided our family is perfectly sized with the children we have. The parallels with the above challenging technological experience are significant:

  • I definitely desired to get to the new, improved state
  • I suspected that some pain and discomfort would likely occur as part of the process of getting from here to there
  • I knew just enough about the fundamentals of what would happen to get me queasy
  • I was pretty nervous about picking the right person to help me

With both issues I had to place myself in the hands of a trained professional – yet there was one significant difference between how those professionals treated me.

Lesson 1: Communication makes all the difference

Dr. Michael R. Lee did an outstanding job of preparing me by walking me through exactly what was going to happen, how it would likely affect me, and being direct and honest about all of the above. There wasn’t any “oh you may feel a little pinch” – it was more like “this is going to feel like a bee sting in a place you’d rather not have one.” That honesty allowed me to prepare myself, and to provide him instantaneous feedback when I experienced things differently than he described. He constantly reassured me and let me know what was happening during the process. His knowledge of what to expect, coupled with his personal concern for me, made it easy to trust him and benefit from his help.

Ok, half the readers of the column are probably squirming a bit so I’ll get back to business. I wouldn’t want to keep torturing those folks who simply don’t want to deal with their computer and associated technology.

Lesson 2: Recovery may take longer than you expect

Getting the kinks in a software implementation ironed out doesn’t happen overnight. Plan for some time to smooth out the problems – and then triple it. Real improvement takes time. More time than you want to admit.

Someone once told me “If you rush your recovery you’re likely to cause bigger problems, more pain, and more time out of commission.” I’m glad to report that I was able to learn this lesson without another visit to the professional.

Actions you can take today

  1. Do a quick self-audit of what’s possible yet you’re not doing it. What are you putting off today simply because it could be personally uncomfortable to go through? You may be holding a great improvement for yourself or your business hostage.
  2. Find a professional who will not only help you solve your problem, but will also keep you informed every step of the way. You deserve both to have things fixed AND to have the peace of mind that comes with knowing exactly how things are being fixed.
  3. Think about how you communicate with your clients. Are they nervous and wanting to trust you? Help them know what to expect before and during your work together.

Chris Hutchinson

About the Author:  Chris Hutchinson, President and CEO of Trebuchet Group, helps facilitate leadership growth and business success of local and global clients, using a collaborative approach to enable consistent, effective results. He can be reached at chris@trebuchetgroup.com

© 2008 Trebuchet Group