When I visit my 87 year old father in his hometown, going with him on his morning walk is a tradition for me. He loves the opportunity to talk to me and me, listen of course. The stories are usually of his family and dated in the early 60’s or before. But today was different.
He : ”I am having difficulty reading with my glasses and I want to go and get my eye checked. Your sister and mother will not allow me to go to my place. She says her doctor is a better doctor
Me: “What happened, you go and see YOUR doctor”
He : “Your sister took me to her doctor. He did some tests on a machine and told me that the spectacles are okay and there is no need to do anything. I am still not able to read the newspaper comfortably. Eye tests on a machine are not always right”
He: ”I want to go to the doctor who I usually visit. He tells me to read something, then uses the machine and then checks with me if it is okay. Its only then that he passes “judgement”
For a man who reads two newspaper a day(as he says, complete, from the masthead to the Publishers name) and 5 magazines a week, this was disconcerting. I remained silent; I knew he will have a different take on it.
He :“It is not that. I am just comfortable with my old doctor, he talks to me, listens, checks what my problem is and treats me the way I want to be treated. If I go to him now, he may also tell me that my spectacles are okay. But it is him and not the machine speaking”
Me: I will take you to your doctor this week.
He : ”I know that this is more in my mind that anything. At this age, I am aware of that. Only if I go to MY doctor will I be able to read my newspapers comfortably. Leave it”
That morning got me thinking. Is this about an 87 year old or is it about each of us? There are many things that we are aware of; however, our mind does not agree. The right solution does not always get us to move. It is a lot more complex than that. In my fathers case, he needed HIS solution.
A relevant and usable solution is one that we receive at an appropriate time, given by the right person and most importantly, something that appeals to ones mind, body and soul. Only then DO WE MOVE.
When we play the role of a coach to someone, this becomes crucial. Each 60 minute coaching journey is about unravelling these dilemmas, these interpretations of our mind and being there to unravel these for the Coachee. It also got me thinking, when I am being coached by someone, am I able to reach into these dark, bright corners of our mind and bring these contrasts before our own eyes and hearts. Its only when both of these happen that the 60 minutes goes beyond, to the 60 hours, 60 days and 60 years of our lifetime.
R Veeraraghavan is a Hotelier turned L & D professional based in Mumbai. He has started his coaching journey last year and uses his free time to dabble in anything that catches his fancy and attention