Every Friday, I send a quick email to leaders who want to make a difference around the world reminding them to follow up with people, on projects, or with themselves. Today’s email struck such a chord with readers that I’ve been asked to share it here on the blog. Happy reading!
If you want these free Follow Up Friday emails, go to: https://concordleadershipgroup.com/followupfriday/
Good morning, Follow Uppers!
I experienced a different type of follow up this week.
Weeks ago, a client asked me to coach her. So I sent her my contract. Then she asked for a change. This amounted to four different proposals over the subsequent weeks.
I like this person and the firm. I really was ready to start. And could see the harm the delay in coaching was doing to her.
Wednesday around 5 a.m., I wrote an email to follow up. I wanted to figure out what was creating friction in the process.
I had the wisdom to leave the email address field blank. I’ve misfired too many times on emails, and felt I wanted to make sure I have the wording correct before any risk of sending it to her.
An interesting thing happened. I’m generally really good at shaping things in terms of benefit to the client. But not in this email. As I drafted, edited, and re-drafted the email, it kept boiling down to an email about me. About my concerns. About my needs.
Not about hers. Or, rather, at best very thinly veiled as concern for her.
I realized I needed to work on this more. So I saved it to drafts and went to the gym.
I am so glad I did.
At around 8:03 a.m., she emailed me, asking forgiveness for how long this process is taking. It turns out, the reality of the responsibilities she’s taken on in this new leadership role surprised her. She’s feeling overwhelmed – something knows coaching will help.
So she and I are starting next week.
I shudder to think of what harm might have been done if I’d actually sent that email!
So, while I’d encourage you to err on the side of following up, sometimes the follow up is simply waiting. People are really busy. And our priorities aren’t always their’s.
As you go through following up today, maybe you can identify one person like this. Where it’s more about you than about helping them. And maybe you can explore living in the tension of waiting until you can get into a heart and head space where it is about them.
As always, I’d love to hear what you decide to do! Just reply to this email or leave a comment at https://concordleadershipgroup.com/followupfriday/
Have a great #FollowUpFriday!
Great to hear this. We should do a follow-up emails so we can keep in touch with them. You are absolutely right, everyone is busy. They might not able to see your messages but the follow-up will be a great help to reach them.