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I learned a valuable lesson

by Justin York

Recently I undertook to do some moderating work at the FIMA Market Data conference, which I was thoroughly looking forward to; after all I enjoy the speaking to people about people and the effects that they have on businesses in any number of ways. More importantly I have a passion for recognising these things and facilitating some action to help resolve the issues. So my work involved moderating a round table discussion an in-depth interview with three panel members as well as being the chairman for a short segment of the conference.

The conference is organised for financial organisations to get some update and peer thoughts on the market data that they consume; by market data I am talking about the financial numbers that you see on the dealers screens when they are in the news because of bonuses etc. Most attendees were from big banks or investment houses who had a special interest in reducing the cost of he his data from their suppliers, who it turns out have a pretty watertight operating model when it comes to the supply and consumption of the data.These vendors come in for a certain level of criticism from their customers over this approach, however that is not one of the lessons I learned, interesting as it was.

I learned quite a few things about me and what I previously thought I was really good at and I still believe that I am, however food for thought has been provided.In NLP there is a presupposition which is that "there is no failure only feedback" and if we accept that as true then it provides us with a different perspective on the activities that have been undertaken and the outcomes forum them.

  • The first lesson I learned is that while I exist, when talking about data, in the people side of the divide and how they effect and disagree on aspects of the data it's delivery and management, this isn't the case for all.A great many people at the conference actually use this data and have to buy it, pay a lot for it and quite often get frustrated by it.So while I have a passion for the people, others have little interest in how that plays out in the business.
  • The second lesson that I learned was that while I'm confident talking about the subject I'm not so confident in sitting and asking the questions about the subject and hearing the views which sometimes conflict directly with my own.While a fascinating experience, it can feel uncomfortable which may not, in itself be a bad thing.The key as always is to reflect and say so what have I learned from that experience.
  • The third lesson was that I need to do more of this type of work in order to build exposure to the audience and drive my coaching activity through it. Although that seems selfish that's not the point really; in all the cases I heard about at the conference it was the same issues, therefore it seems on the face of it that that traditional approaches are simply not working.With that in mind why not try something different, coaching could well be the answer that you seek.
  • The fourth lesson and I think the most important of all is quite simply, don't get nervous when speaking.I don't normally get nervous and yet on this day I was quite nervous until I got into it and then I was fine.So the cause of that was most likely the fact that I didn't know that many people in the audience that well and I am concerned about how I come across.The main so what moment is that it's not about me it's about the panel and their views.

So what you may ask, well the most important thing for me is to keep doing what I'm doing.I need to understand that not everyone is as passionate about subjects as I am and that I need to moderate my enthusiasm whilst still being enthusiastic.Different views are good things and it reminded me that when coaching we keep our own personal thoughts on subjects locked away, so in reality we don't judge!

These lessons in don't bring for your enjoyment more as a cathartic approach to managing my own performance.The world views us in so many different ways and yet we are the same people.We can on occasion adapt our approach to a particular subject, however it's often difficult to maintain.That's not to say that we don't learn because we do all the time.For many of the things I mention here coaching is a great vehicle to getting some resolution.For others you just have to accept that you are who you are and that's not a bad thing.Yes we can improve and be more confident or better motivated but underneath it all we are simply what we are.