Why is Purpose so important to achieving a successful outcome? #2 #cong22

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About Carol Passemard

I moved to Ireland from the UK 10 years ago; along with my husband and it was the best thing we have ever done. I have lived in many different places both in the UK and the Middle East and been through the ‘University of Life!’ In moving to Connemara I finally feel as if I have come home even though I am not Irish. I also moved my business, Breakthrough Retreat. Most of my clients come to work on a 1:1 basis (or as a couple) – they usually stay in Clifden for 2 to 3 days. Why do they want my assistance? because they are stuck and at a crossroads in their life. They come from all over Ireland, UK, Europe and I even had a client come from Brazil last year. What I do is help them discover the tools and techniques that can help them to build a better life for themselves. Despite the challenges clients have to deal with clients they usually leave here knowing what they need to do in make change happen. My approach is holistic and it is not counselling. Should they require further assistance after their Breakthrough Retreat we work online. It is very rewarding and a privilege to work with clients who then go and make a significant difference to their lives.

Contacting Carol Passemard

You can follow Carol on BreakThroughRetreat or contact her through email.

By Carol Passemard

Have you ever experienced children between the ages of 0-7 who constantly ask the question, Why?

  • Why do we have to go to bed?
  • Why do we have to go to school?
  • Why do we need to eat our dinner before we get our sweets?

And a myriad of other questions – Why?

We all lead busy lives and it is very easy to reply with:  “because I told you so….” But you have not satisfied their enquiring minds.  All they want to know is the purpose – what is expected of them.  What are the boundaries?

The word because provides them with history and that can often air on the side of negativity:

“Because you have been naughty today, because you had a late night last night”

“Because everyone has to go to school whether you like it or not! Because you have to learn your lessons.”

“Because you have not eaten anything all day.”

etc etc…

None of those responses are particularly attractive or motivating to a child.

Many of us in adult life are still behaving in this way!

In the early 1990s my late husband, Paul, was doing some consultancy work in the UK Treasury.  There he found himself in a meeting with Ian who he had not seen for 17 years.  In those days they had both been working for Esso and attended an intensive teamworking training course with a company called Coverdale.

During their meeting in the Treasury, Paul and Ian discovered they were both using the same techniques they had learned whilst working with Esso.  The techniques were all based around “Purpose” and were known to them as “A Methodical Approach to getting work done”.

Here are some interesting statistics:

When embarking on a project or task in business the way we think tends to fit into four distinct categories:

  1. Why?

Around 35% of a group will be asking the question ‘Why?”  These people are seeking meaning.  They need to be involved and motivated from the outset of an idea.  They learn by listening and sharing ideas with others.  These people are usually innovators and their questions need to be satisfied before they are bought into an idea/project/task.

  1. What?

What is this all about? Those who fit into this category are seeking information and 22% of a group will need more information before they are prepared to commit to anything new.  For these people it is important to change our language to gain their commitment.

For example:  In reference to the children’s questions notice what happens when we respond with “In order to…”

  • “In order to listen to the story we started last night we shall then find out what happens to the princess.”
  • “In order to discover what you are really brilliant at and find the best opportunities in life for you.So you can thrive and be happy
  • “In order to have fit healthy bodies and then you can enjoy have fun”

You may well have to drill down to some specifics in order to really motivate your children.

Notice that those three simple words “in order to” throw you out into the future and can make life so much more positive.

The same happens in business.  You will find greatly improved rapport from your team when they understand purposeand have information that backs up the purpose of an idea/project or task.

  1. How?

Have you noticed in your team that occasionally as soon as you suggest a new idea/project/task some of the team (around 18%) will immediately jump into action!  They want to know how things work.  These people learn by testing theories in ways that make sense to them.  These people are extremely useful in a team once you have established:

  • A clear purpose
  • Who your customer is
  • What you are wanting as an outcome
  • How long you have got to make it happen
  • What has to be done in order to achieve your outcome
  • You have a clear plan
  • And you are at a stage when you are ready to allocate tasks

Then you are ready to go into action.

BUT if you try to bring them on board at the concept of an idea they can cost you time and money by derailing and confusing that simple question – Why are we doing this project?  They are not really interested in purpose.  They just want to get on with the job.

  1. Self Discovery

Finally there are some team members (around 25%) who are on the path of self-discovery.   They seek hidden possibilities.  They need to know what can be done with things.  They learn by trial and error.  They have a tendency to procrastinate and keep asking questions before taking action.  The best way to satisfy their needs is to be very clear on purpose before involving them and then you can give them a clear idea on what you are aiming for – your intended outcome. Prefix your answers with:  “Just suppose we get this task completed by (time and date) imagine how we shall be seen as a successful team who is prepared to work together in order to achieve our intended outcome.

Over 20 years ago Paul and I designed and set up our own teamworking workshops and spent a lot of time working with both public and private organisation assisting them in learning life changing skills all around Purpose.  We ran a 4-day workshop that included both indoor and outdoor activities that helped our clients recognise the importance of having a Methodical Approach to Getting Work Done.  Not only did this include being very clear on purpose, they also learned many other life changing skills around:

  • Observation
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Starting a project and handing it on to a new group part way through
  • Taking on a project that had been started by someone else and seeing it through to a successful conclusion
  • Listening
  • Effective communication
  • The importance of constant review
    • what went well and why
    • what was not so successful
    • how can we plan to improve for next time
  • Skills that were needed to be part of a team
  • Skill to lead a team

We had a lot of fun conducting these workshops and in 2000, as our millennium project, we took our workshop to St Vincent in the Caribbean to work with the Bishop of the Windward Islands, his clergy, youth group leaders and other members of staff.  It was a memorable and wonderful experience.

Last year a UK government department, who had heard about our workshops, contacted me and asked me to run a teamworking workshop for 22 of their staff.  However due to their time constraints and COVID; the rules and the workshop had to change.  My client only had time to have 5 half-day sessions and they had to be conducted online.

Not to be outdone by this Paul and I designed a very successful workshop that meant we divided them into 3 groups.  I ran the sessions over about 5 weeks.  At the outset the group were very negative and grumpy about having to give up precious time. By the final session they were motivated and recognised the usefulness of the skills they had learned and could be used in any team situation in the future.  Wherever they may be working.  The feedback was very positive.

It was a tremendous tribute to Paul who had taught me all the skills included in the course.  He passed away soon after it had ended.  His purpose in this life was done.  With a smile on his face, his final words to me were “On to my next career!”  I have no doubt somewhere he is sharing his amazing talents with other beings.  RIP Paul.

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