Lets Try That Again, by Nick Roud, Roud Career Coaching

by | Sep 15, 2020

Imagine for one minute that you are able to step back in time. What would you do differently and how might you look at certain key decisions and situations thru a different lens?

One key thing is for sure is that none of us can change the past but we can all learn, grow and move forwards.

Many professionals who I have the pleasure of coaching will share with me that at one time or another if they could go back and try it again they would do things differently.

Nick ‘if I could do that again I would have done it this way’

To me that that is not a sign of weakness, it shows great signs of growth, progress and maturity in the individual. It shows an appreciation to how you go about making decisions the ‘big’ decisions that impact your future.

It’s common knowledge that we each make millions of decisions each and every day, what time to get up, what to eat, what to do, the list is endless. At certain points throughout our professional career we will need to make ‘big’ decisions. These decisions will shape and impact our futures for better or for worse. If you are in a place of having to make decisions in your career right now then I really hope today’s blog will give you some tools that will support your decision making.

To those new to our weekly blog a huge welcome – thank you from the bottom of my heart for choosing to be part of our global family and for choosing long-form writing over quick hacks/fixes. To our regular readers how you progressing since last weeks blog Slow Down To Move Forwards. Did some of those insights enable you to hit the pause button. Thank you for the many emails and messages on the back of that blog it puts the wind in my sails to hear you trying out new things.

It is a huge privilege and absolute honour to coach individuals in many parts of the world – things are tough for many, people are having to make some tough calls and this is impacting on peoples jobs.

Thank you once again. Nick x

Today we write about something none of us can do – no technology is able to do (yet) but its something we can certainly all put some good hard thought into and that’s trying something out again!

They say practice makes perfect. How true this is for sports pros, musicians, surgens and actors, they all spend a great deal of time in practice mode, that means they spend hours and hours working on the things that will make a huge impact when it comes to ‘show-time’. They are not afraid to try things out, to look at things differently and adapt to what may indeed work out better for them

So why (as an observation) do many professionals only practice when they are ‘in-the moment’? For instance when they are in that meeting, when they are in that interview, when they have a presentation to give etc!

If we are to really excel onto greater things then just like the list above should we all be spending that little more time to practice.

I recently coached a person who was heading into a number of very important meetings. Meetings that would shape her immediate future. One of those meetings was with her Manager to discuss her new pay review and expectations for the next year.

Let’s call this her annual work appraisal. I know it goes against everything I stand for – that annual work appraisals should be binned and we should all be having these construction conversations on a regular basis but run with me if you can!

In summary after 4 such meetings the outcome was that her pay would not be increased nor would her reports that worked for her but the expectations were dramatically increased! To be exact she now was responsible for 15 more specific things. (We worked that out by spending time on the exact things she would now be doing)

As you can imagine she was very disappointed and felt the time had come for her to move on into a new role and different organisation. She felt that she had done her time and was not being taken advantage of but the meetings had been and gone – she wished she could have gone back in time and be able to do things differently during those key meetings. She came to me for career coaching, things such as what are her options, what things might she want to consider – how will she go to the market and where might she want to work next along with how she would present herself and to work out what her leadership strengths and development areas are.

Those that have worked with me in the past and know me well will appreciate that when we work together nothing is left of the table – we work in confidence and ensure you are better than when you arrived. With that in mind we had a ‘big – elephant’ in the room conversation, I said to her after a few meetings, why, why are you wanting to leave your current place of work – you have been their for so many years have grow, are paid well and have huge respect in and around your business. So why now, why leave when 90% of the work was exactly what she wanted to be doing and more importantly she was loving her work. Could she not resolve and work on the 10% of other things!

She mentioned not being able to go back and have that meeting again with her boss around pay. She respected that we are all in very different times than a year ago and that many people had lost their jobs. So how could she have asked for more money at times like these.

Fundamentally it wasn’t about the $ it was that she had not done herself proud during the conversations, she had in her words (let herself down) buy not fronting the question around pay. If she could have had the meeting again she wanted to see how she would approch it differently.

So we set up a mock meeting and together in my 20ft shipping container we worked out where she might want to push and pull if the situation arose again. She didn’t want to change the outcome it was clear she was leaving. What resulted for her was having the confidence to not walk away from those tricky conversations but to feel strong in herself. A great outcome for her don’t you think.

Sometimes it’s just having the time to put your thoughts into practice that will support your outcomes, sometimes all it takes is a different approch to a situation that will allow you to not only feel valued but fulfilled in your career.

If you find yourself in a situation over the next week or so, when you come away from a meeting ask yourself these 3 questions

  1. Did I manage the situation well?

  2. Was I clear?

  3. Was I true to myself?

Let me know how you go.

Its extremely hard to answer yes to all the above when in the heat of an emotional meeting or conversation but give it some thought and give it some practice. Think about what are your non negotiables, think about what are you willing to let go off and think about how you want to feel the following day!

You may not be able to control the outcome but you can control yourself and that is the art of progress.

Here are some thoughts when the emotions start to creep up

  • Breathe

  • Take Your Time

  • Slow Down

  • Grab a drink of water

  • If you need time out then ask for it (nothing wrong with taking a 5min break to regroup)

  • Keep things professional / don’t fall into the trap of blame / take ownership

  • Don’t rush to a conclusion or answer allow things to settle for a few hours or days and then make the call

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for some time to get back on your thoughts – you cannot afford to rush decisions

Its important to remember that what happened in the past can’t be changed but you can change the future. Nobody else can do this for you but you.

As you reflect back over today’s blog consider how you might approch situations now and in the future, great sports people spend a vast amount of time visualising certain situations, they do this not because they need to close their eyes and have a 5 min power nap but because it allows them to step into the moment so when certain things do happen they can react, sure they may not get it right every time but in the end things click and fall into place.

Hope you found this interesting and of use. Feel free to share this with anyone who would benefit.

Nick x

About Nick

Nick Roud is a Master Certified Executive Coach, he is co-founder & CEO at Roud Career Coaching a business that works with individuals on their leadership & careers. He is one of the Top 3 executive coaches in the world on Intelligent Leadership (IL) Executive Coaching. He runs a number of leadership/managment events across the year and is the host of The Nick Roud Podcast.

You can find out more about Nick here.

If you are looking at your leadership & or career and want to see if our approch will work for you then let’s discuss contact Nick directly on +6421375630


For a confidential conversation about your leadership coaching needs, call Nick on +6421375630 or email him nick@roudcareers.co.nz

Nick Roud

Nick Roud

Executive Leadership Coach

Nick is the Chairman of Nick Roud Coaching and a Global Award Winning Executive Coach. Nick holds the highest coaching qualification MCEC. His clients are typically Chief Executive Officers, Executives and Emerging Leaders. Nick’s office is based in Auckland, New Zealand and he travels extensively around the world to coach his clients. You can contact Nick directly on +6421375630