Humility and life change: two coaching tales

on BLOG, Career Coaching, Coaching, coaching tales 31 Ott, 2012

Today I propose two coaching tales that deal in different ways the same argument: humility and real willingness to change life and points of view.

The first one is a “pill” from the Zen tradition, the second is a true story, reported for the first time on a U.S. Navy magazine soon after World War II.

Both tales have been so far extremely useful in my career coaching sessions to help the coachees to change their (limiting) opinions and ideas, deemed immovable. Especially with top managers – having generally a huge ego – these tales are very useful.


La tazza di tè

Racconti di coaching: La tazza di tè

A Japanese master received the visit of a professor, who wanted explanations about Zen.

The master served him some tea, but he did not stop to pour tea, even after the cup was filled.

The professor, surprised, after a while, said: "Stop! The cup is full."

And the master said: "You are like the cup: you're full of opinions. How may I show you Zen if do not empty your own cup? "

Here are some coaching questions:

– Di cosa è ricolma la tua tazza?

– Come fare a svuotarla?

– Chi può aiutarti?

– Chi è il maestro?

– Cosa potrai apprendere una volta che avrai svuotato la tua tazza?

– Come sarà la tua vita dopo?

– Quali scelte compirai?

– Cosa imparerai?

– Quanto sei disposto a vuotare la tazza per cambiare vita?

A change of course

Racconti di coaching: Cambiamento di rotta

A warship had been offshore sea for several days to perform manoeuvres and training activities in bad weather. The captain, concerned about the worsening weather conditions, was on the deck to observe the ongoing activities but also to monitor the evolution of the fog. Just after dark, the lookout man on the bridge announced shouting: "Captain, a light on the starboard side!"

The captain immediately asked if the light was stop or was moving out and the lookout confirmed that the light was still. Bad sign: it meant that the ship was on a collision course with another vessel.

Then the captain called the signalman and ordered him to inform the other boat that it was on a collision course. The boat had to immediately correct the route, at least 20 degrees north. The answer came in a flash and it was: "you to change your course 20 degrees south."

Irritated by the arrogant response, the captain dictated to signalman the following message: "I am the captain, change course 20 degrees north." Even this time the answer came quickly, but it was not what the captain was expecting: "I am a second class seaman, I suggest you to change your course 20 degrees south."

At that point the captain, in a rage, shouted "send the next and last message: I'm a warship and I order you to change course 20 degrees north." After a few seconds the answer: "and I am a lighthouse."

The captain relented and changed course.

As usual, some coaching questions:

– In quali occasioni ti sei comportato come il capitano?

– Qual è la nebbia che ti preoccupa? Cosa rappresenta?

– In cosa sembri una nave da guerra?

– Chi o cosa si sta comportando come il faro?

– Cosa non può essere spostato?

– E se il faro potesse essere spostato?

– Per cambiare vita, quale rotta devi cambiare?






One Response to “Umilta’ e cambiare vita: due racconti per il coaching”

  1. gianfranconocilla ha detto:

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