A snack is worth a teardrop

on BLOG, Career Coaching, Coaching 11 set, 2016

Uno snack val bene una lacrima

Welcome back to everyone on my blog, with the hope that your holidays have been restful, rejuvenating, restorative. I spent mine in the beloved countryside, troubled by health problems in my family; but I console myself thinking that could have been much worse.

Instead of talking about the usual – but, nevertheless, always fundamental – coaching questions on return from holiday, I want to share a couple of observations on an advertisement of snacks launched in Italy in August by a multinational company, which impressed and, initially, also troubled me: it is an interview to "real" parents and, then, to their kids, a gray setting, a curtain that opens, hugs and inevitable tears. All very déjà vu for at least fifty years, although the absence of soirée in ambassadors villas, chauffeurs and diamonds used in last decades by this company comforts me: perhaps, as it was expected in the first year of the economic downturn, at the long, it would have had positive effects, resizing behaviours and expectations and bringing us closer to less artificial and futile values. But I'm a coach, not a sociologist: before writing some irremediable nonsense, let's go back on the subject of the post.

At the beginning of the adv, parents say they feel guilty about the little time devoted to children and the few opportunities to be together, but, soon after, the children deny them, describing present parents, with whom prepare desserts, go to the zoo, spend beautiful and important moments. What struck me, apart from a strong association, cleverly induced, among adult players and me-spectator? First, much of the guilt is related to lack of time, of quality time. Second: the images that parents have of themselves greatly disagree from those given by their children (which, however, I don't consider objective, given their age and their need of affection, protection and models) and, at length, by the "others".

The first one makes me think a theme that often recurs in my corporate coaching and career coaching sessions: who manages who, who fixes the priorities, who is the subject and who the object of our professional and private lives. We are really those machines driven solely by external solicitations, so well represented by Gurdjieff and Ouspensky a century ago? Or do we finally want to become masters of our time, of our actions, setting our priorities, always in the responsible respect of our obligations and social and working rules? What do you need to make the leap of quality and awareness, the jump from fantasy to action?

Also, when we cudgel our brains for negative views about ourselves, for sense of guilt and inadequacy, what prevents us from verifying with those who are around us our views about ourselves? You cannot know how often my coachee, after arriving at the conclusion that it is appropriate to ask for feedback, linger and, amazed, exclaim "the solution is so simple, why have I never thought of it before?".

And on these two points leans much of the coaching power: to push the coachee, not to be satisfied by automatic questions and answers, to ask for confirmation, to experiment new possibilities, to design new behaviours and actions.

Some questions for the new working year:

What aspect of your life do you want to deal today, with more urgency?

What do you miss?

What do you know and what do you need to know about it?

Who can help you? How?

 

 

 

 

 

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