My favorite professor in Graduate School had a simple but profound approach to working with people.  His theory was that people were either wrapped too tight or wrapped too loose.  He believed that if they were wrapped too tight, his job was to help loosen them up and if they were wrapped too loose, his job was to help tighten them up.  This theory resonated with me and I have incorporated it into my helping style.

The goal is not so much about changing people as it is about helping them find balance.  This is as true in business as it is in life.  Being out of balance in one direction or another creates frustration and stuck places in your business.   Let’s see if you can identify which one describes you.

People who are wrapped too loose are often highly creative and prefer their time to be unstructured.  They are comfortable with letting the process unfold and not needing to know the next step.  They like to keep their options open and are really good at going with the flow and being spontaneous.  They are powerful visionaries who are capable of seeing the big picture and using their imagination to create an amazing vision of what they want their life and their business to be.  Unfortunately, they have difficulty moving forward and manifesting this vision because they struggle with staying focused, setting priorities, making a plan, coming to a decision, following through, getting organized, setting boundaries and saying “no”.

People who are wrapped too tight are often high achievers.  Once they understand what options are available, they are comfortable making a decision, creating a plan and taking action.  They are comfortable with schedules, structure, practical solutions and concrete results. They tend to be analytical in their approach to business and life, basing their goals on what they know and what they think they can achieve.  When things don’t go according to plan, they can become stuck and frustrated because they have difficulty relaxing, tuning into their inner wisdom, being spontaneous, going with the flow, letting the process unfold, using their imagination, thinking outside of the box, feeling out of control and giving themselves a break.

Soooo . . . . which one sounds like you?  If you say “both” it’s probably because you have done a lot of work to achieve balance.  Which one is your inherent nature?  I am naturally wrapped too tight and have spent the last 20 years learning how to loosen up so that I can trust in to my internal wisdom, use my imagination, think outside the box, get comfortable with mystery, quite my mind, give myself a break and have balance in my life.

Once you know which way you are wrapped and what your challenges are, you can find the mentors, solutions and accountability to get you unstuck and using your energy in positive and productive ways in your business.     Very few coaches and mentors work well with both dispositions.  I have come to the realization that my brilliance is working with the wrapped too tight people.  I know when to push and hold them accountable and when to give them permission to give themselves a break.  I know how to help them access their inner wisdom, over come their fears and teach them how to integrate complex spiritual concepts into their business in a way that satisfies their analytical minds.

I also encourage you to look at your clients and notice if most of them are wrapped too tight or too loose.  Which category do you attract?  Which one do you most enjoy working with?   Does the focus of your work help people tighten up or loosen up?  This awareness will help you clarify your target market, position your products and services to address pains and problems and refine your marketing message.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this article.