Kene Iloenyosi – Finding Your Fit | Conversations with Coaches | Boxer Media

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Kene Iloenyosi | Conversations with Coaches | Boxer Media

Kene Iloenyosi is back, and just as fantastic as I remembered! Our first episode was among my very favorite chats, and this second one somehow managed to exceed my already-lofty expectations.

In our conversation today, we cover the “ins and outs” of introversion and extroversion (and ambiversion), the importance of “fit” in both your professional life and the coach/client relationship, and the ways that purpose can power your work.

(…and LOTS more, but you’ll just have to listen to get the rest…)

Kene Iloenyosi is an author, career coach, and speaker who guides people to discover their purpose and find their career sweet spot. His books, “Finding Your Sweet Spot”, “DNA of Talent” and “Put Your Purpose to Work”, have helped thousands of people live out their purpose in the work they do.

To learn more about Kene:

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Kevin Stafford 0:02
Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of the conversations with coaches podcast. I’m your host, Kevin and I am already energized. I’ve been chatting for what appears to be I think the Zoom clock is lying. But we’ve already been chatting for 10 minutes. I’ve had the great pleasure of conversing so far with again with Kene Iloenyosi. Did I get that last name right again Kene Iloenyosi?

Kene Iloenyosi 0:22
You got it right!

Kevin Stafford 0:24
Awesome, awesome, awesome. Kenny is an author, career coach and speaker who guides people to discover their purpose and find their career sweet spot, his books, finding your sweet spot, DNA of talent, and put your purpose to work has helped 1000s of people live out their purpose in the work that they do. Canady has been here once before, we had an excellent conversation. When I was thinking about who I wanted to talk to you again in 2023. He was one of the first names that came to mind. Thank you. I’m so glad to have you back. Thank you for being here. And thank you for continuing the conversation. It’s already been great.

Kene Iloenyosi 0:58
Thanks, man. Thanks. Good to be back. Good to be back.

Kevin Stafford 1:01
Good, good, good. So we were we just jumped right in and started talking about just how our how our months and weeks and days and the new year has been going since we last chatted and the conversation just already like it’s off the runway and is at cruising altitude 30,000 feet. And we got into something that I that’s been a very high, high on my mind subject. And that’s definitions of introversion and extraversion as it pertains to myself personally, professionally as it pertains to this particular podcast. And how how to define it because for me, I know that I have had a a self definition of myself as an introvert for a long time and people listening to this podcast will probably, you know, scoff at that. But that’s exactly my point. Right? In my experiences, especially through this podcast, I’ve had new light shone on how I have defined those terms, both for myself and for the world around me and you started speaking very, I thought very eloquently and very clearly and cleanly, right to the heart of that. And so I wanted to pick that conversation up with the record button lit up and asked you about the proper definitions of introversion and extraversion and how we might be mystifying them here and there in our especially in our professional lives.

Kene Iloenyosi 2:16
Yeah. So unfortunately, most people when they hear the term extrovert or introvert, they think about outgoing or not outgoing. You know, extroverts are outgoing, they like being around people, introverts just want to work in a room. They don’t like people feed me said put the foot under the door, get away from me. That is so wrong. It is it’s it actually it’s one of the things that I don’t know, when I can say this on your podcast, it pisses me off, you know, because I often work with people who say they are trying to get over their introversion. introversion is not a sickness, it’s not a disease, it’s not something you should get over. It is how you are wired. And so in its in the purest definition of introversion and extraversion. extraversion simply means that you are energized by people interaction. That you gain energy from that. introversion means that you lose energy by people interaction, and you gain energy by and recharge, being able to recharge by being alone. That’s that’s the pure form of introversion extroversion, the extroverts will need time to, you know, they can enjoy being alone and rest and recharge. But at the end of the day, when an extrovert has had a lot of interaction with people, they are physically tired, but they’re emotionally emotionally charged. They’re like, Yeah, I’m ready to do this again tomorrow. Introvert, as they interact with people through the day, that energy is depleting. So they’re physically tired at the end of the day, they emotionally drained and they recharge emotionally on their own. So for most people, the mistake people make is replacing shyness for introversion. So they see someone who is shy, who’s sort of withdrawn and they say the person is an introvert know the person is shy. Shyness is a social disorder. And you can have a shy extrovert who wants to be around people, but again, there’s just that feeling of awkwardness of like, Man, I don’t really, I don’t know if they’re judging me. There’s so many thoughts around shyness and you can have an outgoing in introvert my wife is an outgoing introvert, when she’s around people, she can even be the life of the party. But she has a span of like four hours.

Kevin Stafford 5:14
And it’s your job to keep track of that. And to get her out of the party, when she gets down to the hotel,

Kene Iloenyosi 5:19
she gets done, you know, she starts to give me the warning, Hey, buddy, I was yeah and a half. Once she hits that mark, she’s out, she’s out. You know, and if I don’t, if I don’t make a move, she’ll go sit in the car. You know,

Kevin Stafford 5:34
she’s developed techniques for how because she understands herself very well. And she doesn’t push yourself beyond those boundaries, because she’s experienced, very likely what has happened when she’s allowed her boundaries to go to get crossed in that way. And that’s, I love I love that I love that I’m like, in my, in my heart of hearts, I like I feel like I’m friends with your wife now. Because like, that speaks to me directly, where it’s like, I’ve got my gauges, I’ve got my warning lights, I know what to do. If I get too close to empty, I’ll just remove myself from the situation. That’s beautiful.

Kene Iloenyosi 6:08
Yeah. And it is important for us to, to know where we fit. And then we have a third category that most people don’t even talk about. We call them the ambiverts. So people who are part introvert part, extroverts, they fall somewhere in the middle. And so for them for, for ambivert. It’s, it’s, we tell them in especially when it comes to work, and relationships. Know the environments that tap into your introverted side, the environments that deplete your energy, and know the environments that, you know, energize you, and you really have to be careful, so that you apply yourself well, and I mean, ambiverts have, they can have the best of both worlds, or the worst of both worlds. It’s one of those things that they really have to do more introspection than pure extroverts and pure introverts.

Kevin Stafford 7:07
That makes a lot of sense, because yeah, with the with the traditionally defined introversion and extraversion, you have some very clear some very clear definition, some very clear boundaries. Whereas I imagined falling into the into ambivert, which is a term I hadn’t, if I’ve encountered it before, I don’t remember I love that that’s going into my dictionary immediately, you have to you basically you don’t get the luxury of those more those harder defined rules. And so you basically you have to navigate every situation as if it could go either way, which again, it doesn’t, it does put a heavier burden of introspection, and processing and boundary establishing and holding on that person. So you get the flexibility and the adaptability, with everything that comes with it. All of the opportunities and all of the dangers that come with that.

Kene Iloenyosi 7:51
Yes, and you just you use a very key term, the adaptability in a work setting. ambiverts are useful them in that they’re critical in a team because the ambivert can speak the language of the introvert or can speak the language of the extrovert. And sometimes pure introverts and extroverts don’t necessarily understand each other. And so the ambivert on a team is sort of the middling they can explain the introverted the extrovert, and they can explain the extrovert to the introvert. And they are very, very good at helping keep that team strong and cohesive, and moving towards their goal.

Kevin Stafford 8:35
I really love that. I love thinking that way too. Because as you began talking, I was thinking of an ambivert as sort of like a skeleton key for for team dynamics. Because of that, that ability to translate, I think trend to translation is I feel like that’s the best way to describe it. Because when you have these these different types of people in this particular way, especially when you have like, you know, kind of on poles where you have like introversion and extraversion, you have sort of like a spectrum of where people might fall there. If there’s a gap in the middle, it can often be very difficult to have the effective communication that is quite frankly, just required in order to really like have an effective team and to grow and be successful in all your endeavors. But especially in a work environment, where you’ve already got people from various walks of life, various life experiences, various education levels, and amount and types and various work experiences. And so you have all these dynamic people, which is what you want out of pretty much all the time out of a team, you want that animism but then you want to make sure that that communication gap is filled with the right people who have the right skills and the right ability to help everybody talk to each other and I love I love thinking of ambiverts is that translator who speaks who speaks everyone’s language well enough to make sure that everyone is on the same page and understands each other.

Kene Iloenyosi 9:47
And that’s that is exactly what we call them in my career coaching world with with the assessment I use the highlands ability battery, they actually translators for people on opposite sides of the spectrum because often, you know, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard this humorous. No, no, this is talking about specialists and generalists, but it can also relate to introverts, but they say the generalist is someone who knows a little about everything. And x, the specialist is all who knows everything about nothing. Later in the middle, to somehow help the the poles understand each other. And in a work setting it up, it’s actually easier for an extrovert to function. It’s not optimal. It’s not advice. But it’s easier for an extrovert to function in a role suited for an introvert than for an introvert to function in a role suited for an extrovert. Okay, that makes sense. Because I mean, with introverts, they’re just certain ways about them that, once that energy is once that energy is depleted, I mean, the risk of a blow up, I mean, there’s just so many things that can go wrong. And so often, when I work with people, they, they may find that the issues that happen at work with their colleagues is the fact that they are introverts in an extrovert role, you know, say you’re an introvert, but you’re in a sales role. And it’s not even a specialized selling it. It’s the type of sales that puts you out front all the time, and people are wondering like, man, okay, why is he not that friendly? Or wise, you know, that friend is not a morning person issue, what’s going on? Yeah, when they don’t understand that, that introvert just has this bandwidth that they can tolerate of people interaction. And typically, what we advise them to do is don’t reach a threshold. get to a point, any, if you if you know, your threshold is like three hours, then every hour and a half way, you still have some juice in the tank, buying time alone for like, 15 minutes. Yeah, you know, boost that threshold, again, come back, but often in the workplace, depending on what you do. It’s not possible. You know, so that and it’s not with career coaching for work specifically. You are not looking at the, the that personality in isolation, there are other things that come into, you know, coming to come to bound, whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert, are you? And are you a specialist, introvert or a specialist extrovert, who’s got like, you know, special, high spatial relations theory where you’re able to see the big picture you like to work hands on, there’s so many things that factor into helping this person really maximize that personality, in the work they do.

And this is exactly why well, it’s exactly it’s at the heart of it’s not, it’s far from the only reason, but I feel like it’s right at the heart of why coaches and coaching are so so so, so valuable, and are increasingly recognized as such, because and this is a word that this is a word that comes up in so many of my conversations. Bid bid, is something that all every single coach I’ve spoken to has high on their list of it’s really important, whether when they’re taking their own clients, how they’re working with how they’re working with their clients, and building teams, how they’re coaching executives to climb a ladder, how they’re coaching people through a career change, anything it’s fit is so important. And it’s because of all those factors that do need to be considered in order to understand whether or not someone’s in the right place in the right way to serve not only themselves but to serve the team and the company that they that they’re that they’re in with. And yeah, and the way that you describe it, it I think it’s a perfect encapsulation of what’s so valuable, so valuable about a coach. Because again, you do a lot of translation work yourself, you’re evaluating and like looking at the shape of things and understanding people with very clear frameworks and so on. And you can also help that understanding translate to the people who are doing the hiring to the people who are doing, who are in charge of the team building who have the leadership skills to do that and the things that they need to know about their people and how they’ll fit in the team. And it’s just I fit, it constantly comes up and it’s just so it’s such an important three letter word, a tiny little word that carries a lot a lot of weight.

It is huge because for a lot of people, that is the problem. They in it’s like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. It’s, you can push it in, you can use a hammock getting there, it will always be wonky. Yeah, it will always be wonky. And the truth about it that right fit or what I call your career sweet spot is available to everyone, if they just spent the time, you know, learning more about themselves learning the things that make you know, you know, how they’re wired in terms of their natural abilities, their personality, timeframe orientation, there are a number of things that we look at. And we now start to sort of like a puzzle. You know, and you know, start to play with it. It’s it’s, it’s, it’s huge. And there’s I’m still working on on this right up on the investment of coaching is not annex coaching is not an expense. And as you know, I wrote up, I said something on LinkedIn not too long ago, maybe I think was last week, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, or with a coach.

Kevin Stafford 16:32
Like that, I like that it’s good.

Kene Iloenyosi 16:37
Because the coach is outside of you. And they’re simply teaching you how to look deeper within, and analyze all these opportunities you have on the outside. But they’re helping you make sense of how what you have on the inside connects with what you’re seeing, or looking for on the outside. And that’s how the Fit happens. Not every opportunity is for not every opportunity is for for you.

Kevin Stafford 17:08
Yeah, yeah. And it’s important to be able to acknowledge that it’s like it’s, a lot of times people will, people will look at a lot of their relationships in their life as a rival points where it’s like, Ah, I’ve done it. I’ve, I’ve arrived at the friendship, I need the partnership, I need the job that I need. Everything’s perfect. It’s like, one thing that I think gets overlooked about the entire concept of fit is it fits not like you don’t just fit into the spot, you don’t find it and shape it and get in there. And then you’re done. That allows you to then grow in ways that you might never have thought possible. It’s not an endpoint, it’s an opening up. And so it’s in an encouraging way. And like a really like you should be enthusiastic and it might be a little scary, it can be scary. Because when you’re when you’re in the right place, the right time with the right people and you found a fit the power and possibility inherent in that. It can be a little scary and a lot of people like when you experience it for the first time you’ll you’ll kind of knock it back a little bit. You almost feel a little bit odd by how right everything feels it might spooky a little bit, but But trust us that’s it’s supposed to feel that way it can feel that way. It’s meant to feel that way.

Kene Iloenyosi 18:18
Yeah, I’m getting paid to do this seriously.

Like, yeah, because you are wired to do this easily.

But when I use the term easily, I’m not saying you will not work hard. But what is difficult tasking work, what is sort of, I don’t use the term drudgery. But what is really hard for people to you or to someone who’s got the right for whom it’s the right fit. They’re sort of fish in water. They’re like fish in water. I was having a conversation at the thing was dinner over the weekend. And this guy is in finance. There’s like director of finance and soap company. But his He’s a natural salesperson. He’s a natural salesperson, he was telling me that in the last two years, he has brought in the most sales to his company. Nice. But unfortunately, every time he gets a recruiter the bring him finance position CFO positions. And you know that the struggle is I love to sell it’s it comes to me naturally I do it well, because I’m not selling. I’m just introducing a product to you that will add value or help you in the way he doesn’t. You know, you don’t think of him as, as you know, like the stereotypical salesperson. It’s all around relationship building. But he has a background in finance. I mean, he’s good with numbers. But what really stands out is solving problems for people, which really makes them buy whatever it is he’s selling.

Kevin Stafford 20:16
And so again, very service oriented, you

Kene Iloenyosi 20:19
know, until in the back and forth, I was like, Well, you’ve been interviewing for all these CFO positions, which you really don’t want, but okay, there’s going to be more money. But what you should look for is a position where you are primarily selling, which comes naturally to you, and you’re good at connecting people. But what you’re selling is a product or service that has to do with finances. So you, you know how you can talk the finance lingo. But man, you aren’t, you are an ace at selling. So you’re merging the two annuals like, wow,

Kevin Stafford 21:06
yeah, it sounds so simple when you say it. But then, but we never we don’t think of this, we get we, we like I’m imagining this person who just got on the path that allowed his career to grow, and ended up out over happened through education, through influence through parents, or mentors, or friends, through aptitude as well just found him, found himself on this path of being in finance, and has progressed along that path due to being again good with numbers. And that word goods doing a lot of work. Because good, I mean, not to put too fine a point on it. But good is not great. And obviously, like you can be successful. Yeah, and still not be where you want to be, you can still be like, like, feeling that lack of fit, it’s not quite right. And there are a lot of skills that we acquire on our road forward, that are meant to serve us in our forward momentum, and don’t necessarily serve our desire for fit, and to do to execute on our passions and to really live our most are to live out our best fit professionally. And it’s such an interesting, like, we get so far down those roads, that you lay it again, once again, where a coach is just priceless, is the ability to see, to see and to say, that relatively simple thing, like you laid it out very clearly, it’s clear as day to me, of course, it’s not my life. So of course, it’s clear as day to me. I’m looking at this, I’m looking at the speck in somebody else’s eye, you got to work on the log in my own eyes, so to speak. But if you get down these roads, and you get in these trenches, and it’s there are certain things, certain obvious things that are just borderline impossible to see without the perspective of someone who knows what to look for. cares about you, professionally. And that’s one thing coaches are great at, they understand how to care about someone, which is what allows them to see what needs to be seen and to say what needs to be said. And that’s again, why you identify it, not as an expense. But as an investment coaching as an investment and put in those terms, it pays you off tenfold a hundredfold a thousandfold, it’s it’s really it’s it’s incalculable. What a good coach at the right moment, will do for your life personally and professionally. And that’s a good a great example of exactly the kind of the kind of guidance that coach provides.

Kene Iloenyosi 23:23
Yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s invaluable what a coach can do. Because you are I mean, like you said, it’s all you are in the trenches. The coach is, you know, the coaches trench is spending time helping people see a bigger picture. And they’re looking at it from the outside in. The person they’re working with is often looking from the inside out. And it’s a limited view. So the coach helps expand their vision, and reorganizes things for them. Showing people that okay, you’re good at this, but you’ve actually been working in your skills, not your natural abilities, not your personality. And so, when you succeed when you are successful purely in your skills, yeah, you’re making good money, you have a good position but you are unfulfilled. It’s Yes, I’m sorry. It’s just the truth. Because your skills function from the inside out. Your natural abilities, your personality, they’ve those things function from the outside in. So you should lead your career your career search based on using those things that come naturally to you your natural abilities, and then your skills should come behind and support. Most people their natural abilities don’t even factor in they just focused on okay, I’m, I’ve learned the numbers. I’ve learned, you know, effective communication skills. I’ve learned how to manage people skills that are useful. But your natural abilities don’t come to play.

Kevin Stafford 25:08
It’s very resume oriented thinking. So I’m imagining it’s a lot easier to put skills into single sentences, short paragraphs that work very well, on a resume fit into a cover letter, it’s much easier to fit it there. And so it fits. It fits a conveniently shaped structure that allows us to kind of lean on it maybe a little bit too much, it’s much harder to put forward that natural ability in a way that is representative of you and appealing to a potential a potential HR personnel or someone who’s looking to hire, it’s tricky, and it’s a little bit more work. And again, it’s one of those things where it’s like you don’t really know how to do it, or don’t understand where you might start an ideal place for a coach to come in to tell you like, here’s how you can put this part of yourself forward. And like you were talking with the finance guy hired like, here’s what your ideal thing is, it’s actually a merging of the skills that you’ve acquired and your natural ability. And here’s what that could look like. And just gave him like an example. Just a conversational example. And just, you know, it sounds like he kind of had to take a breath and like, oh, I never.

Kene Iloenyosi 26:10
The funny thing is that when I said it immediately, he knew the type of job. He was like, Oh, wow. Yeah.

Kevin Stafford 26:18
When the light goes off, all of a sudden, you can see. I just, I just looked up at the clock we have been on on the podcast, we’ve already been chatting for over 25 minutes, we’ve already been talking for getting close to 40. Now. Wow, I’m unsurprised. Because, like just like last time, once we got going, it’s it was amazing. Before I should let you go. But before I do, I want to make sure that you get a chance to just tell the audience anything like what’s one thing that you’re excited about in 2023? Where can people find out more about you? Just like you know, learn more about who you are, what you do, how you do it? Where can people connect with you, if you’d like to, you know, if you’re very active on LinkedIn, and you’d like to DM people there, if you have a, like a free course or a forum? How do you how, how do you like to meet people for the first time, all of those things.

Kene Iloenyosi 27:08
My website is talent Revolution dot M E, I am on LinkedIn, really, that’s my business platform. And so people can reach out, I always reject the people that want to connect with me, but they really want to sell me that TEDx coaching platform. But if you, you know, if you reach out on LinkedIn and put in the the additional notes that you listen to this podcast, I’ll be more than happy to connect with you and chat with you. People who want to engage in a coaching relationship, feel free reach out, it’s you know, will you get a 30 minute free consultation, because again, talking about fit, we have to make sure that I am the right fit for them. Okay, because I’m not the right fit for everybody. We have to make sure that I’m the right fit for them, whether I am the right fit or not, there will still be some value that they get out of the conversation. And even helping them think about the type of coach they need. If I’m not the right person, hopefully I’ll be able to point them in, you know, the right direction. Until you know, you can do that reach out to me, there’s there’s a Contact button on my website. My books are out there. My latest book is this put your purpose to work, you can get that on, on Amazon. And this might say write an article on it right, right now, this I was writing before we started, but again, it’s helping you understand that your work should be an expression of your purpose. And so how do you know how do you go go through all that? How do you go about understanding your purpose and figuring out how that relates to work and helping it manifest that work. So that quite a bit one has to do in 2023, I am excited about, you know, the new coaching relationships that are starting and just just, you know, just the things that we have to do this year, pretty excited, pretty excited.

Kevin Stafford 29:14
There’s a lot of good work to be done. And we’re, we’re engaged in it, it feels good, feels really good. And I liked your advice about the LinkedIn connection, too. You get like, I think it’s 300 characters you get when you when you reach out for a connection request, you get a very short amount of character. Well, it seems very short, you can say a lot that time take advantage of that 300 characters you can you can express a world of desire and need, and really a world of yourself encapsulated. So take advantage of those 300 characters. You never know if those are going to be the ones that start the conversation here, which leads to a conversation later on, which leads to the Fit you’ve been looking for maybe your entire life. And it could just start with three little characters and a little connect with on LinkedIn. You never know.

Unknown Speaker 29:54
That is true. That is true . A lot of it lot of business has come come. I mean, even in my other businesses that I had in the past, linked in, has been valuable. If you know you can provide value to someone, or just asking a question that triggers a relationship, you never know what that can lead. And so it’s again, for business professionals, that’s, that’s a good place to, to connect, I don’t do marketing. I’ve stopped marketing on Facebook and Instagram and all those places because my clients, young executives, who are making a good income, but unfulfilled in their jobs, are not really doing business. They’re not looking for business relationships on Facebook or Instagram. For them. It’s all about LinkedIn. So yeah, that’s where I am.

Kevin Stafford 30:47
It’s really has its deepened as a as a relationship platform, as you know, because it’s, as opposed to just being considered I’ve, for the longest time it was just like a resume, like an interactive online resume or resume on steroids or whatever, whatever people would call it. But it really has deepened in its ability to connect people and to build relationships as a platform in a way that is aligned with professional goals. Yeah, it’s really yeah, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve expounded on the virtues of LinkedIn here before, I’m certain I will again, but yes, it is a great place to, to grow yourself professionally and meet the people who are going to help you on that journey. And the people that you can help on that journey to remember it’s a it’s a relationship. It’s a two way street. Yeah, yeah. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for coming on.

Kene Iloenyosi 31:33
Thanks for having me back.

Unknown Speaker 31:34
This has been even

Kevin Stafford 31:36
better than I remembered. And I remembered it pretty fondly. I’m probably I’m very likely going to be back in your in your LinkedIn DMS in you know, maybe like three to six months and we’ll do like a mid mid year maybe like a summer check in or late spring check in and just seeing time. All the stuff has come out. Okay. Anytime. Thank you so much to the audience, too. I mean, if you’ve been listening to this, you know, you know what it’s all about. Do yourself a favor and reach out like we just asked you to, you won’t be sorry. And here on the podcast. We will have the pleasure of speaking to you again very soon.

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