COACHING THE COACHES
by Jon Rappoport
Copyright © 2011 by Jon Rappoport
In my consulting practice, I’ve worked with many clients who are coaches.
In these sessions, they’ve let their hair down. Some of them have spoken to me about their frustrations, their failed attempts to get clients to change their lives for the better.
I’ve heard the same statements from therapists.
As one psychologist put it to me, “Right or wrong, I feel like I’m holding the magic keys to the kingdom. But when I try to hand them over, my patients look at them and see nothing. Superficially, they understand what I’m saying. But when they walk out the door, they can’t apply these ideas in their lives.”
So I told him we were going to do an exercise.
“Like push-ups?” he said. “Leg lifts?”
I said, “I want you to tell me a hundred completely absurd and ridiculous things you could say to a patient. A hundred pieces of absurd advice you could give him.”
He, of course, stared at me as if I were crazy.
Finally, he said, “And why would I want to do that?”
“Because,” I said, “you’ve got nothing left. You just told me that. So play along. Nothing to lose.”
He hemmed and hawed. He was VERY uncomfortable.
Finally, he started. His first few offerings were timid. He stopped.
“Is that the best you can do?” I said. “I want ABSURD.”
He began again.
It took him a while, but slowly he gathered steam.
…By the time he reached number 50, he was on a roll. His whole demeanor had changed. He was smiling broadly.
By the time he reached number 75, he was laughing and cackling.
While he was pouring out the last 25, he was walking around the room, gesturing, imitating some sort of tinpot dictator.
After the last one, he sat down.
I let a few seconds go by.
“Feeling better?” I said.
“You kidding?” he said. “Like I just got out of prison. What was that all about?”
“It was just a little technique I use on ‘communication professionals’ now and then,” I said.
“Well, it sure worked.”
“It’s just the beginning.”
“Really? You’ve got more of those?”
“I’ve got a million,” I said.
The next day on the phone, he told me he’d slept well for the first time in a year.
“Maybe I need jokes,” he said. “Maybe I should change my practice so all I do is tell jokes. But seriously, where did you get that little con game you played on me?”
“I made it up,” I said.
“Why?” he said.
“Because I knew it would work.”
“How could you possibly know that?”
“All will be revealed as we do more sessions,” I said.
“I wish I could,” he said. “But I’m moving out of the country. I’ve got a job at a clinic in Europe.”
I never saw him again.
I knew that little technique would work because I’ve learned something about the human psyche. I’ve learned about what people bury in their subconscious. I’m not talking about “negative material.” Quite the opposite. What’s really buried down there is a fantastically positive and wide-ranging capacity.
This capacity isn’t about “reprogramming” or “a new paradigm” or “a magical code” or “a better belief system” or “a secret idea” or “a dream” or “passion.” It’s much, much wilder than that. It’s been with us since the beginning—whenever that was.
It’s what we’ve been educated OUT OF. It’s what we discard, as if we’re butterflies going back into the cocoon to become caterpillars.
It isn’t the solution to a problem. It’s what can make our old problems AND their solutions obsolete.
And having buried this capacity, we tend not to want to hear about it. We prefer to forget all about it. And when it’s brought up, we profess not to understand it. Or we say it’s useless.
But it isn’t useless. It’s a power that does what the old alchemists were striving for. It does it for the individual, and it can even do it for the human race.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it, because I’ve seen the results.
A former candidate for a US Congressional seat in California, Jon has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years. He has written articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. The author of The Ownership of All Life, Jon has maintained a consulting practice for the past 15 years. He has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, and creativity to audiences around the world.