Processes are great. They bring efficiency. Processes are awful. They drain the life out of life! Processes, as a human-created concept, contain no truth either way. Instead look for fresh wisdom.
When I began my coaching business five years ago, I thought I would have standard documents for everything (my background in corporate HR & OD had trained me to see process as good for efficiency and therefore profit). I imagined I’d have template email content for every stage of a client’s journey with me, standard questions, standard email content, a standard flow of the journey from beginning to end.
Some of these things got created. A coaching agreement, questions for an initial exploratory phone call, questions before a first session, an overview of the journey.
Some were used and still are, some were created and never used, some never made it into existence.
These days I notice how every contact I have with a client is tailored to them. A couple of exceptions in the early stages, but other than that all bespoke. Every email, message, phone call, coaching session unique to them.
From my old-world perspective I’d have seen this as resource-hungry, wasteful, time draining.
And yet this isn’t how it feels.
How it feels is that this is the most obvious thing in the world to do and feels like it takes less time as there’s no concern for what they ‘should’ be getting at this stage, no searching for the right template and then re-writing half of it anyway when it doesn’t quite fit, and entirely true and authentic to us and our unique coaching relationship.
I just reconnect to where we were when we last had contact and I see what flows naturally after I type the Hi [name] – that part is standardised ;-) – knowing that where we were last time isn’t where they’ll be today.
Always fresh and alive. Not stale churned-out humdrum.
And then some things have a process. My end of month finance & payroll process as an example, so I don’t have to use brain energy each time to remember what needs to be done & how. That seems an obvious thing to do too.
So with no truth in either “have processes” or “don’t have processes” the thing that makes the difference in life is paying attention to your own wisdom.
What are you doing that feels boring, lifeless or lacking human connection? > Does it have a process when it’s not needed?
What are you doing that feels tiring or clunky? > Does it need a process to bring ease and simplicity?
Or maybe the thing you’re doing doesn’t need doing at all!
No right or wrong. Just options.
So listen to your inner wisdom. It’s called wisdom for a reason. It has valuable information to share.