If you hold meetings with people that you lead and manage, peers, stakeholders or key clients, this post holds a piece of really helpful information that could help you save yourself and the other party loads of hassle. I could also help you protect your business.
I’ve written before about why I find it incredible that so many coaches and managers do their coaching sessions in coffee shops or hotel lobbies. I get that these spaces help keep costs down. It is also clear that the atmosphere can be more relaxed in such venues and this might help the flow of conversations. However, without the need for me to put on a 1960’s trench coat, dark glasses and have a button-hole microphone at my disposal, it is way too easy to overhear the content of these conversations. Too often managers and/or coaches seem oblivious to the fact that their discussions can be heard by anyone sitting within earshot.
This isn’t new advice from me but for new readers and those of you that have forgotten about it, it is worth reiterating from the perspective of ‘good practice’. I’m not saying that you should immediately stop all meetings you hold in these venues but just raise your awareness about the content and whether it is still appropriate to continue. At least, that was my rather pragmatic view of what you should do, until very recently …
Last week I had the great pleasure of working with a very senior Comms team in one of the UKs most successful high street retailers. A great group of people, passionate about their work and keen to learn about coaching. When I mentioned this point about not holding coaching-type conversations in their local coffee-shop, there was the usual pause to make sense of the advice and then it was followed by the following disturbing insight…
Due to their very close work with national newspaper journalists, this group were only too well aware that journalists and ‘freelance hacks’ (their term not mine!) very often hang around such coffee shops. Why? In order to overhear such conversations to get juicy gossip that might make tomorrow’s headlines.
If that doesn’t make you think twice about holding conversations with sensitive details in your local coffee shop/ restaurant/ hotel lobby/ train journey etc etc I don’t know what will.
Glenn Wallis is an experienced Executive Coach and Coach Developer who will help you improve your own results and those of your organisation. When you are ready to raise your performance to the next level, find out more here