One of the things I really like about my work is that it is varied. No two weeks are ever the same and I get the opportunity to work in a wide variety of sectors.  This could be a sole trader setting up a business one day, to public sector organisations, academic professors, corporates and sport governing bodies.

What I find important is paying attention to the detail that communicates subtle clues about the culture of the company or organisation that you are working with, and people like nothing better than to feel that you "get it" – you understand how they work and what is important to them.

This means noticing factors like what type of clothes do people wear, are they suited and booted? casual and trendy, or functionally dressed?   I always think carefully about what message my clothes will communicate to them and will they think that I understand where they are coming from.

Also, arriving at the reception of an organisation or small business, can also tell a story.  How do people address one another?  Are procedures important to them?  What is displayed on the walls of the reception?   

Then what sort of language do they use? This ranges from noticing the buzzwords that are spoken (certain types of organisations LOVE acronyms and expect you to know what they are) to the subtlety of the phrasing of the person who is your contact.   Do they use visual, auditory or kinaesthetic language?

Do they talk about best value, return on investment, bottom line profits or maximising shareholder value? 

Often as a consultant, coach or speaker, I don't get all that much time to assimilate the environment and create a powerful impact, so you need to be noticing plenty of detail and be prepared to adapt your style to suit the environment.  So remember to hone your skill in noticing….