Thursday, September 24, 2015

Intensive Interactions and Trickery

Periodically, I have a client that either needs to get something out the door on a deadline (e.g grant application or post-doc proposal), or needs to get unstuck, in a big way. Yesterday, I had a client that was feeling stuck and unfocused; he is also going through a hard time in life. Some of what he is experiencing is way beyond his control; the circumstances will continue for a while. He has been toying with a few articles over the last couple of weeks, but not really focusing on the one he can easily get out the door.

Yet, what he can control is his writing and publishing. While it would hardly fix some of his woes in the short term, it does give him the possibilities or better work opportunities next year, and as importantly, a sense of meaning.

One of the tools that I find extremely important during times of stuckness (nice word Rich), is to have intensive interaction and to call for immediate, witnessed action and focus. After our traditional hour coaching call, which included some cutting of text and some writing, I asked him to continue to write while I stayed on the phone for an hour or so (google hang out, really). While he wrote, I cleaned my bathroom! (more on this in a future post :)).

There is something to being witnessed in the moment, pushed to preform in an instant, that can really help people be powerfully productive. This goes beyond writing groups, which while important, are planned and and scheduled. They do not have this "drop and give me 50" quality that seems to get us out of our head and into the work. When compelled to do so in the moment, with caring and supportive, and perhaps challenging accountability, it is amazing how some people push forward. Out of head, onto page. When we let go, we have been trained to do the hardest parts of this. Really.

Why this works, I am not entirely sure. I need to spend some time really analyzing this, but I am starting to get an intuitive sense of when to ask which clients to engage in this kind of work.

I find myself more and more relying on my gut and playing the role of the joker, the trickster, the off-beat zen monk doing something strange and off the wall (sorry if the Zen monk reference sounds grandiose or arrogant!). I keep learning. I keep growing.

Oh, and his article should be going out today!

And my bathroom is very clean :).

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