Why didn't you ask?

A couple of months ago I attended an event run by a friend. It was a bit “Meh”.

Nothing exactly wrong, but all a bit vapid. No sense of direction. Lots of little things which were clearly not thought about. Lots of things which could have been a lot better for no more money, or substantially less.
We met for a restorative coffee the next day. She was definitely in the “post show blues” mood and I was trying to be supportive.

After a few coaching moments when I asked her how many clients had been there, if she’d started any good conversations and so on, I was asked for my honest feedback.

What a dangerous question. So I proceeded carefully.

After all the usual get-outs “how did you feeeel about it” I finally decided honesty was best.

“Do you think I know about running events?” I asked.
Yes, of course.
“Do you think I could have made the event more successful?”
Yes, of course. That’s what you do.
“Did you think I would charge you for my advice?”
No, we’re mates and I often give you advice for free.
“So why didn’t you ask?”

Now as she was a friend, and in a receptive mood, we were able to explore a little. There are lots of areas of our lives where asking for help is easy to do and yet we don’t. For any number of reasons. We want to prove we can do it ourselves. We think asking for help makes us look weak, and so on. 

After another round of coffees, to my surprise, the reason my friend had such a blind spot was that she didn't even think to ask.

It’s a theme I've touched on in other posts, but she was so busy booking the venue, arranging the canapés, sending the invitations and so on that she simply didn't lift her head from the details and ask “why am I doing this?”

So do ask me, ask your friends, ask someone who knows. The worst answer you’ll get is “You have thought of everything”

This Post was originally composed for the Conference News Blog

Richard Tierney is a Messaging and Presentation Coach (among other things) Introverted Presenter


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