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Coaching 101—From the Inside-Out

Here’s a quick true story that reveals the power of understanding the inside-out (and illusionary) nature of problems, and how this understanding benefits others. Actually, in this case, two people and their relationship.

Last week, I received the following text message from a hockey-playing client: “G, I’m getting super frustrated with my new linemate’s attitude. All he talks about is wanting to score. He’s so selfish it’s a joke!”

I replied: “Hey, bud, he’s new to the city, right? Have you taken the time to get to know him? Have you had him over to the house for dinner or something like that?”

“No, not yet. I guess I probably should.”

“Sounds to me like his thinking is getting the better of him right now. He’s feeling a bit out of sorts. As he starts to feel more comfortable, he’ll automatically become less selfish.”

“Ah, so simple. How’d I miss that?”

“We all do at times. Just remember, all it takes in a relationship is for one person’s consciousness to rise. From there, we start to relate to the struggles of others rather than take their attitude or actions personally.”

“Thanks, G, calling him now, love you.”

“Love you too, talk soon.”

It is so simple: When states of mind rise, problems wither away. So, if you’re a coach (parent, friend, teacher, counselor, or therapist), it’s never productive to dig into the content of someone’s problems. What’s productive is to do whatever seems necessary in the moment to help pull that person out of his or her funk. From there, compassion, trust, and love will automatically flood the space.

Inward and up,
Garret