COACHING THE COACHES
by Jon Rappoport
Copyright © 2011 by Jon Rappoport
After many years of laborious research, I’ve definitively proved that life is not a square, not a circle, not a triangle. How’s that for amazing? Life isn’t a rhombus or a trapezoid, either. I was hoping for trapezoid because I like the sound of it, but it just didn’t work out. I tried, I really did. No dice.
Life doesn’t have clean precise borders all the way around it. This is an unfortunate circumstance for coaches who seek to apply a system to their clients. Life has a funny way of thumbing its nose at systems—just when you think you have it all figured out.
Speaking of systems—I once had a client (IQ 150) who sheepishly described his situation to me: As an engineer, he carefully prepared for his first date with a wonderful woman. He arranged a picnic. He settled on a park near a river. He consulted the micro-climate forecast and found the exact spot where they would sit and watch the rowers and the soccer players. He went to the best deli in town and bought the food he thought she would like, and he packed it in a basket with a fine 20-dollar bottle of something that combined the essence of lily and heliotrope. He did all these things…And when he and she finally arrived and sat down on his blanket, boom, pow, zow—he had absolutely no idea what to say…
He added: “You told me imagination sometimes works through constructing absurd situations. Well, I can testify that ordinary life—at least the way I approached it—can be pretty absurd, too.”
Actually, if you can believe it, and I do, this man had worked with a coach to “improve his communication” with women. He had received a first-rate PhD-type education in interpreting signs and signals from women, and responding with clever twists designed to “elicit positive responses.” He had a playbook.
I can only speculate. She offers a blink here, a turn of the shoulder there, 13 different kinds of smiles, each with its own meaning, 40 possible glances…
Coaching is really about taking people out of systems they’re already saddled with.
But some people would ask, “If you don’t have a system, what COULD you possibly have?” As if the only remaining alternative is Outer Darkness.
Well, there is a little thing called spontaneity. AKA, feeling alive.
But how would you teach that? And even if you could, would you be able to sell the idea to a client?
“Spontaneity? I need a system. You know, steps 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9.”
The thing is, he already has steps 1-37. And they’re working about as well as a rusted train on broken tracks.
With about as much spontaneity as the Detroit auto industry when Japan and Germany were gobbling up the whole market.
So you have a conundrum. Not a trapezoid, a conundrum.
What to do?
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.