Knock, knock. Do you have 5 mins?

That depends…

If it is to tell me a solution to a problem I didn’t know I had – you can have 1 min of appreciation.

If it is to talk about how you want to make a change that will improve either you, a process or both – you can have all the time you need.

Freelancing from home is great and I love the control I have over my time and efforts, and yet, I do miss the people.

One thing I miss about “the office” is those daily impromptu interactions with others.

Those little and often times when someone just wants to talk it out and get over a speed bump. Also know as fear of failure or of putting oneself out there for all to see.

My usual follow up to – “Do you have a min?” is:

Do we need to shut the door? This will help gauge the gravity of the conversation.

Then I will ask, “What’s on your mind?”

Often the response is, “I just wanted to tell you about… It is all good and I sorted it.”

These means they want some appreciation and they can have that in spades. It does not need to take very long and may occur more frequently around appraisal time.

Less often, it’s, “Well, I just want to do… but…“.

That’s when a deeper more focused coaching conversation is on the cards.

Always ask yourself:

What’s the question behind the question?

And respond to them with:

Anything else? And pause… and pause… and pause some more!

It may take them a while to gather the words and when they do, you have an opportunity to have an impact and help them.

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