By Lynn Zhang
Your car will not start, and you tell the mechanic it definitely must be the battery. So he sells you a new battery, just to calm you down.
But it still doesn’t start.
The mechanic continues to check and finds the original battery was fine. But you insist the problem was the battery.
Most of my clients are like that. They complain about something in their professional or private life, but that thing has nothing to do with the real problem. One client complained about the poor performance of an employee. His solution: “Fire the worker!”
“Why fire him,” I asked. After all, he was working longer hours and without extra pay?
He is “against me!” the client said. “I would rather avoid that guy at every possible chance.”
Finally, the client confessed. The real problem was not the employee. It was his own leadership. He was not a confident leader.
From that point, we were able to make the small, but essential changes that could make a big difference. I knew we had found the key to real change, because the tone of the conversation became relaxed and warm. The client stopped defending his attitude, and refocused his attention on how to become a better leader.
I asked, “But why so much time sitting there, filling yourself with junk food for hours each day?”
Then she exploded — with emotion. The solution was not tape over her mouth. It was about her husband.
“He’s seldom at home. Makes me feel so lonely,” she said. She missed his love.
She longed for the most basic activities they used to do together, going to the movies, shopping or just taking a walk in the neighborhood.
Sometimes, the car battery is fine. Instead, the driver may need a little attention. Sometimes we may lose our way. What we may need is a coach to accompany us to find our way back.