The single biggest challenge facing clients in moving forward with social media is caution. They are cautious of disapproval, cautious of making mistakes, not sure of what to do or why. You can see the potential in there and they wouldn't even be talking to me if they didn't think it was possible to make a difference. But they just need a little push, a little encouragement - and maybe someone to talk to if they get the odd bloody nose along the way. Getting the social web to work for your business isn't rocket science but nor it is easy. The challenges are personal. It is all about people opening up and connecting more with each other and the barriers to this happening are high and often self made.
This is why I am doing more and more coaching. I have been getting coaching myself from a wonderful guy in the US called Steve Chandler and it has made a huge difference not only to my ability to make things happen but also to cope when sometimes they don't. I actually think the coaching relationship is one that more and more managers are going to adopt. How often have you ever needed your boss to actually tell you what to do? But then how often would it have helped if he had sat down with you and helped you to sort the world out? As people need less direction they need a different kind of support and I think coaching is a really productive way to give them that support. I also think it is very much in keeping with the possibilities that social tools give us to take increasing responsibility for our own lives and to work together in entirely new ways.