Therapy seeks to comfort the afflicted whereas coaching can seek to afflict the comfortable (Cavanagh : 2006)
An interesting incident occurred during the week. I had a meeting planned for 15:00 with a client in Dawson Street. I’d already changed the date of the meeting, so was more than usually conscious of being on time. Parked the car in Molesworth Street @ 14 20 and was trying to figure out what to do for 40 minutes. Showing up early is almost as bad as being late. It’s like your maiden aunt coming to a house party an hour before kick off – just as you are about to hop into the shower! One skinny latte later, ready to go, I popped into the loo in the café.
Getting Locked! The door lock required a key (it wasn’t a simple bolt arrangement). Anyway, guess what happened? The key got stuck in the lock and I was stuck in the jacks. Now this particular toilet was about the same size as a Chihuahua’s kennel. At 14:53, I was hammering on the door. Eventually, the waitress rescued me with the not-so-reassuring tagline: “Don’t worry about it. Everyone gets trapped in there”.
Taken Aback: It was my second time stuck in a toilet. A couple of years back I ran a Management development programme in Newbridge for Wyatt (now part of Pfizer). The plant was under construction and only about 50% of it was in use. The toilets were over the far side from where we were running the training. When that particular door got stuck, I had to climb out over the top of the cubicle like MacGyver (if it happened to me now I don’t think I’d make it over the wall. They would find a skeleton in the loo years later; perhaps thinking they’d found the body of the ‘2015 Hide and Seek Champion’).
Behaviour Patterns: Just like my toilet escapades, people can become stuck in behaviour patterns. And when others try to intervene they can find – paradoxically – that the person cannot seem to change. While the term sounds somewhat brutal, some people become addicted to their own misery. The psychological payoff (because there is always a payoff) can be around playing the ‘woe is me’ game. At a deeper level, some people don’t take responsibility for their own lives or having to change those parts of their lives which are not working. Sometimes there is a degree of outsourcing the blame to someone else, maybe even a wish to ‘get even’ with this person. Perhaps they have not heard of the wisdom offered by Confucius: “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves”. Blaming others for a lack of success in your life can have some basis in fact. Not everyone gets off to a great start. Some people are born with a ‘rusty’ spoon in their mouth. But, if you feel stuck, perhaps its time to change that lock and not remain trapped in a place where you don’t want to be.
In the meantime, a bit of practical advice. Never, ever go into a strange toilet without a step ladder. You’ve been warned.
PS Lighter Note: How about a bit of toilet humour to round off? Went for a routine checkup today and everything seemed to be going fine until the doctor conducted a Proctology. Do you think I should change dentists?
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