My partner and I had hit a point in our relationship where we were facing challenges communicating with each other and staying on the same page
We have a dynamic HVAC business that includes new construction, special projects, and service, and we knew we needed some help. Money wasn’t an issue, and Eric came highly recommended from people in the Construction industry, so we decided to engage his executive coaching services.
I was a little concerned getting into a coaching engagement with Eric because of previous experiences.
We’ve dealt with different consultants and business coaches in the past whose agenda was more about keeping us as a client forever than actually addressing issues and finding resolution. They would come on board, and then never leave, and when we finally said “Hey it was nice having you around,” then they asked for a job! I guess we were their only client. Eric wasn’t like that. He focused on helping us address issues not just improve his financial situation.
In relationships you can get stuck in a rut and not know what to do, but as soon as you start talking about your issues you get the communication and energy flowing again.
Eric met with my partner and me monthly. Immediately I realized that the obstacles to making things work well at our company weren’t as big as they felt. During our meetings with Eric, my partner and I had open communication. Eric did a great job creating an environment of honesty, and checking us if we began to stray from that. He kept us from going down rabbit holes by asking specific questions, and this created a dialog between my partner and I that was beneficial. We quickly found areas that we agreed on, and once we started talking through our issues, I found that we weren’t really trying to climb a mountain, it was more a little brisk walk up a hill.
Eric’s ability to stay neutral and to ask follow up questions during our meetings when he felt like he was getting a half-answer, or something vague, unclear or generic was really helpful and he did it fairly across the board, even with the President of our company when he sat in on one of our meetings.
Our relationship is healthier and getting back to where it used to be.
For a time, it felt like my partner and I were talking to other people in the company about the issues that we had with each other, instead of directly communicating face-to-face. Our meetings with Eric have changed that. Instead of us just trying to tackle issues on our own with no communication with each other and just getting frustrated, he’s coming to me with stuff, and I’m going to him with stuff.
In our work together Eric used a specific framework aimed at resolving interpersonal conflict.
It’s simple and really effective and I realized that my partner and I were actually on the same page. It’s hard to see when you have a disconnect in your communication, but by writing stuff down and being honest and sharing that, you find out that you are more aligned then you thought. It’s like finding out that you’re driving the car in the right direction, it’s just that you have a wobbly tire, as opposed to having two tires going in completely different directions.
I’m going to use it with some of our employees that are having issues and not getting along.
I can see that they have the same motivation, but they need help reconnecting and getting past whatever heartache they have. The framework will help them to see that they are actually more aligned than unaligned. It will also help me to stay as neutral as I possibly can, and because I know the individuals, I’ll be able to tell if they are wasting the opportunity to strengthen their relationship and feeding me bullshit that they think I want to hear.
Discussions with Eric were effective, convenient, and he didn’t waste our time.
Everyone’s big fear jumping into an executive coaching like this is that it’s going to be a time suck, and be like a bad counseling session, and be hard to go back for the next meeting.
In construction, everyone deals with similar issues, similar problems, ups and downs.
I recommend Eric’s services because from my perspective, being responsible for the service side of our business, I want to identify something and fix it and get it back up and running as quick as possible. I was looking for someone who can work with us who would have the same mentality.
It really helps having someone like Eric who understands the industry, understands the language, understands the sensitivity of time and money, and moves quickly to address challenges and find solutions.
Christopher A. Merino
Vice President Service
Air Systems Service and Construction