Beware of the Masked Crumpler

I was onboarding a new coaching client recently. A very talented and creative woman who owns a business helping people with creative/arts backgrounds find ways to be successful business owners.

The onboarding process from our side is an initial webform survey to gather background data from which the content becomes the basis of the first exploration phone call. In advance of our first call, my client put together a series of Google documents that she shared prior to the call in which she outlined a series of questions and action items that she wanted to be sure we addressed. She also put a surprising amount of information into the form.

On the surface, it seemed like I might be onboarding a fellow Folder. There was advance preparation, high level of detail and lots of worksheets. But my Folder “spidey sense” was tingling a little.

As I read through the responses in the survey, I could see distraction and bifurcated focus. She initially provided information substantiating a claim or position or explanation, but then followed with paragraphs of alternate concepts. I could almost hear her having internal conversations with herself and changing gears.

I opened up the Google worksheet she shared. There were multiple tabs, but the sorting of information onto each of the tabs didn’t make a lot of obvious sense. I am sure the organization made sense in her mind based on the internal dialog she was having at the time, but I definitely wouldn’t classify it as “systematized”.

Now I was really looking forward to our call! My supposition is that she is really a Crumpler hiding behind some Folder tendencies. My guess was that the goal of her attempt at the detail and systems was an attempt at compensating for a lack of confidence she had in herself.

We had a lovely 90 minute call. I learned all about her background. We dove into where she sees her strengths and weaknesses. We discussed her goals and dreams and what she views as success. I learned a lot about her. Most importantly, I confirmed she was really a Crumpler!

She has incredible visions for her future and her success path. She has a seemingly never ending list of additional products and service offerings she can provide to her clients that would genuinely improve their lives. So what has been stopping her?

She’s not been able to fully execute on her ideas. She gets into the details and gets bored and distracted. She creates lots of lists and what seem like processes to her, but she discovers that when put into execution, they aren’t complete. Her strength is not in the detail and planning; it is in building an inspiring vision – and I explained that to her. Her response? She was relieved and said “thank you”. She felt like she finally got permission to be who she is and not be what she isn’t. She understood that she simply needs to find the right Folder to work on her team to help bring her ideas to fruition. It was like a weight was lifted.

So beware of the masked Crumpler! (In reality, beware of the masked Folder too.) Understanding whether the person you are dealing with is a Folder or a Crumpler can be extremely valuable in helping to discover how to successfully coexist or work together, but you have to be careful to look further than surface deep. The clues are in the clues! Keep an open mind and pay attention.

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