Saturday, July 16, 2005

It's All About People

I’m working on a mini-course / program / perspective-maker on people. (Stay tuned…it’ll be out this fall).

I’m a Shadow Coach. I observe people all day long, those I’m coaching directly and all those around them. I watch interactions, behaviours, communication styles and even more than that…ways of being.

I also watch as people place boundaries around themselves, and make assumptions by which they live their life which, in many cases, hold them back from growing. I can’t tell you how many times I hear “I want to be able to do ----- and when I can, I’ll be exactly where I want to be” and here I am, having observed them in action for the last few days, watching them already doing it. They just aren’t aware. They are making assumptions that they aren’t aware of making. They are demonstrating behavioural traits well beyond what they wish for. They just haven’t put a name to it.

And on the other side of the coin so to speak, people know what they want and set all sorts of boundaries around them to stop them from getting what they want. It’s quite amazing to watch.

For eg. People want to take more time for themselves but feel guilty taking it. So they bring up every excuse in the book why they can’t have it, can’t take it and by the time they’ve verbalized that list, they are so mentally and emotionally exhausted, even if they did take time, the guilt would take all the joy out of it. They articulate that too….adding “So why should I bother?”

Something as simple as taking a half hour just for them can be magnified to such an extent that they make excuses for it to those around them for the rest of the day. Talk about an energy drainer instead of replenisher.

So that becomes their ‘homework’ and they have to tell me the following day what it felt like, what they were going to do with their half hour the following day and the day after etc etc until it becomes habit; a joy, not a chore. And, miracle upon miracle sometimes it actually turns into an hour! It begins to feel positively decadent.

This is just one example. People want more time….they want to be healthier but aren’t responsible for their well being. Again that magic wand is supposed to save them when they aren’t. People are a lot more complicated than we realise. We just know a fraction of who they are and make judgments accordingly. People spend more time planning a two week vacation than on what they do the rest of the year. Makes sense to you?

And so the list goes on.

The whole point of this mini-e-teaser is to make us think….be aware, intoned. It will also push many a button as some of them come too close to home. But isn’t that the purpose of a coach? To help people stretch beyond their comfort zone until it’s comfortable?

If you have any thoughts on this, I’d love to hear them. What have you observed about people that might help us all learn more about ways of being?

Donna Karlin

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