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The Versatile Life

By Holly Parks

The Versatile Life

We work with many different companies of different sizes and at different stages of maturity. We recently started working with a start-up company that is just two people, a husband and wife team. To many people they seem to be living the American Dream: husband and wife building their new venture together, hand in hand, through the ups and downs both good and bad.

They are like most new companies, hustling for their first clients and striving to balance growth with workload. However they also have to balance their work life with their home life. The work/life balance is difficult for many people but especially for a couple who are in business together.

I have been meeting with them about their strategic plan,working on their mission, vision and monthly goals. They were on track and working on their own internal processes when our meetings started to turn emotional. They were having difficulty in communicating with each other and neither really understood the other’s expectations of themselves. They have been happily married for 15 years and both felt that they were solid. I was observing through our discussions that they were not meeting in the middle. The husband was falling behind with his work while the wife was diligently knocking task after task off of her list. He was managing existing clients, meeting with new and prospective clients, doing the proposals while also being responsible for half of their deliverable work load. She was frustrated. He was tired and overwhelmed but focused on keeping everyone happy - clients and family.

I recommended that both of them take the Building Relationship Versatility course. They took my recommendation and enrolled in one of our BRV public seminars together. For anyone who has taken the course, they know that you take in a lot of information in two days. The course is full of “Aha!” and “That’s why!” moments. For them it was life changing. They were able to look at each other and nod their heads as the four different social styles were explained. They now have a better understanding on why the other person tended to react in certain ways. It was a unique experience for the other class participants too because they were able to see the training in action in real time.

The class was an emotional experience for the couple. They were forced to address their own natural tendencies and learn how to become more versatile with each other and their clients. They learned why they tended to spend more time with some clients and less with others. They also realized that they each needed to be more versatile with each other. He had to focus more on finishing tasks in a more timely manner and she needed to be more understanding of his tendency for small talk and socialization before work.

The next time I met with them they were so happy that they had invested the time and resources into taking Building Relationship Versatility. They stated that it was the best training that they both had ever taken. They learned how to work better with clients and deliver products and services tailored to the client’s Style. The real payoff was for them personally. They both understood how the other one viewed the world which allowed for more open communication with less stress because they were both being versatile. When two people are able to become highly versatile, more work is accomplished with less stress and there is better communication resulting in higher quality products and services. They were able to increase their efficiency resulting in more time off work together. They were using their versatility to gain greater control of their lives.

What is a 53% improvement in market share worth to your organization? According to Michael Leimbach, Ph.D. Vice President, Research and Design, Wilson Learning Worldwide, “if an organization with 6.29% market share has 1,000 customers, each purchasing $1,000 in product, then each one percent increase in market share is worth $158,982. So an improvement from a 6.29% market share to a 9.65% market share (or 3.36%) is equal to $534,179 in increased revenue.” Of course, your results will depend upon your current market, market share, and customer revenue. But, for one company in Michael’s research, creating versatile salespeople was a highly profitable return on investment.

It has been a few months since they took the course and they are even more versatile now. The wife is better able to reach outside of her comfort zone to communicate with clients in their preferred style. The husband is committing more time to work deliverables and focusing his energy on committing to solid timelines. They have grown stronger together through Versatility.

How could Versatility benefit your organization’s employees’ professional and personal lives?

Published: May 23, 2014


Holly Parks

Chief Operating Officer

Holly bought out Bob’s partner in 1988 to become an owner in Strategic Enhancement Group. She has over 35 years of experience in business. Prior to joining SEG, Holly ran the operations for companies as diverse as paper converting to packaging to computer value added reseller. Her role with Strategic Enhancement Group is to set and execute the strategic direction for the company. Holly majored in political science with minors in French and Spanish at Western Illinois University. Along with Bob, Holly has been recognized with the highest awards given by Wilson Learning.

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