Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation
People are funny aren’t they? I guess I’m a people, so I’m funny too. And I mean funny as in odd, not comical. This is a business blog after all and not a pitch for Live at the Apollo.
What I mean by funny is that we can be suspicious of free things.
Many years ago I was the presenter at a networking meeting. After chatting about how important it is to recognise people for their worth, say thank you and generally play nice, I gave everyone a £1 coin. I dipped into a little bag and gave everyone some free money so they could have a little treat on me that day. It seemed like a good idea at the time, a genuine little thank you from me to the delegates.
After the meeting ended I noticed about half the people had left their coins on the table. A few also came up to me and asked if I wanted theirs back.
‘No,’ I said, ‘it was a free thank you gift from me to you. Please keep it.’
This act of generosity unsettled people. They couldn’t process that I was giving them money. There must be a catch. No. There was no catch.
I realised then, that free can be overwhelming to people. It challenges our sense of value and order in the world. Free can imply a quid pro quo, to be exacted at a later date.
However, that doesn’t have to be the case. Generosity is in the world and we can surprise and delight people with it. For example, I did a free coaching-scoping session last month. Free meant no risk for the client and showed my commitment to working in a friendly, ethical and sensible way.
The session went well and paid work was booked as a result. Free can be a gateway to new things.
Here’s another gateway.
I’m in advanced psychotherapeutic counselling training. Great fun, super interesting and a good build on my 15 years of Transactional Analysis experience and work.
I’m currently working with clinical clients and have 2 free spaces. The spaces are free and the counselling is free. That doesn’t mean the work is amateurish. Far from it. It’s real work. Clients benefit from the support and I benefit from being in that space. A win win.
If you know someone who is struggling a bit with life and would like support then please pass this on to them and ask them to make contact. The work is done via Skype, so there’s no travel time, or cost involved and clients can be anywhere in the world.
Free can be great!
And if you’d like to give me some free money, then just to be clear, I accept! Please slide some crispy £10 notes into an envelope and then post the package to me. I will take good care of it! I promise.
This week maybe experiment with free and see where it takes you?
Next week: Why Many Training Workshops Suck
Click icon for details
Click cover to view details on Amazon
Brilliant ways to increase performance, stay employed and keep the money rolling in
Published 2011 Marshall Cavendish
Secrets and skills to sell yourself effectively in the Modern Age
Published 2010 Marshall Cavendish
An insider's guide to working for yourself
Published 2007 Cyan Books and Marshall Cavendish