Steve Preston, a career development coach specialising in redundancy outplacement and career change, found his business life transformed by a short Clean Language session with colleague Mary Casson.
He explained: “I suddenly had much greater focus. I had had balls in the air all over the place, but after the session everything started to happen automatically. It seemed to release a lot of energy, and I had clarity of purpose. And the ideas haven’t stopped flowing since!”
Initially the session had seemed awkward and rather stilted. Steve was preoccupied with a workshop he was due to run later that day, and was quite irritated by the unusual questions. But Mary kept on asking them, and developing her own mind map of the answers he gave. And suddenly, something changed.
Steve said: “I can’t remember quite what question she asked but it was something about the purpose of the business. And then I had this vision of my late father and I said: ‘Oh my God!’ I got very emotional for a few minutes.
“The thing was I had just realised why I was doing the work I was doing – as a memorial to my Dad. It was always going to be in his honour, to prove to people that there is more to life than bog-standard employment.
“I had originally set up the business on the anniversary of his birth and somehow over the years I had forgotten that it was to do with my Dad. I’d got involved in the classic goal-focussed coaching stuff, attracting the right target market and so on. And suddenly it was like, ‘No, actually that’s not fundamental. What I am actually doing is to help people to change their lives.’
“That realisation has unlocked all this pent-up, misdirected energy. Before, I couldn’t see the wood for the trees in my business. Understanding my true purpose helped me to change my focus. Now I know what I am really looking to achieve, and so it’s much clearer what I need to do.”
Steve Preston can be contacted via his company’s website, www.smp-solutions.co.uk