Nicole Soames is a highly qualified coach and EQ practitioner with extensive commercial experience gained from 12 years leveraging large sales teams for Unilever and United Biscuits, followed by more than 18 years spent developing and delivering training programmes across the globe. In 2009, Nicole founded Diadem, the leading commercial skills training and coaching company. With hundreds of clients across the globe, Diadem has helped many thousands of people become commercial athletes in negotiation, selling and influencing, account management, marketing, presenting, strategy, coaching, and leadership and management.
Nicole is the author of four books – The Coaching Book, The Presenting Book, The Influence Book and The Negotiation Book. In the planning and publication of all four books, she collaborated with LID.
Why did you decide to write and publish The Coaching Book, The Presenting Book, The Influence Book and The Negotiation Book?
As a trainer, executive coach and emotional intelligence practitioner, I do a lot of work with people on a one-to-one and group basis. And setting people up for success is totally my passion. It’s literally my life’s work. I could see how much my tools, techniques, strategies and philosophies were helping people and I wanted to find a way of reaching more people. That’s why I got into writing books.
The other reason to start writing them came when I went to a book launch of one of the other authors at LID Publishing. I got chatting with Martin Liu [Publisher of LID], and he asked me what I did, and I explained. He then said: “Oh, we’d be looking for someone to write The Negotiation Book.” So, he planted the seed and left me thinking, I could do that, I should do that. I really ought to do that and, how would I do it?
That was how the first book was conceived – The Negotiation Book. And once I found the formula and quite enjoyed it, I decided to try again. And then I did the next one. And then it just seemed sensible to write books on the topics that I was most passionate about.
What do you use the books for in your work and professional life?
The main philosophy and proposition was to help others access my tools and techniques. But there’s a side benefit too. As a business owner, running a coaching and training practice, being a published author gives me a large business card, or in fact, four business cards. It helps me establish myself as a thought leader.
A lot of people say: “Oh, everyone’s got a book in them.” Well, they don’t actually. It’s really hard to write a book. I know that I am expert in my field but there’s something quite brave about putting it down in writing. And to put your opinion out there for the masses. I think it gives you a platform, credibility and permission to call yourself a thought leader.
In terms of your professional profile, what role have the books played in enhancing that?
As well as a business card, it’s also a great conversation starter. If you’re meeting new prospects or clients, you’re able to say: “My books give you a really good flavour of the types of philosophies, principles and strategies that I could provide.”
Have the books enabled you to meet interesting people that you have not done so before?
I frequently get messages on LinkedIn from people who have found the books and read them. Or they might show me a picture or share a quote from the books with a tag. So yes, you get to interact far and wide. And that’s a really lovely thought actually, that you will connect with people that you will never otherwise have crossed paths.
Did the book projects help you to develop your ideas and thinking?
Yes, absolutely. When you’re training people and you are interacting with other humans, it’s a very different experience imparting knowledge in written form. It stretches you to really think about it. As Einstein said: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it yourself.” To be able to be succinct and clear, and explain it in a very accessible way, definitely stretches your thinking.
If you had to give two key reasons for a consultant to write a business book, what would that be?
I think it’s this idea of establishing yourself as a thought leader and having a platform, and writing a book is a great vehicle to do this. And it’s a great marketing tool too. But don’t underestimate it – it is not easy!
Having now had four books published, what are your future plans for your writing?
I am literally signing the contract for book number five in the background as we speak. I am committing myself to number five and then the pen will be down, I think five is enough. But yes, I am writing my next book. It will be published in November 2023. The nib has been sharpened, the ink has been refilled and I’m going again.
We’re looking forward to it!