Another Clean Language outcome…

February 14, 2010 Post Comment Uncategorised

This week I had a short consultative session with a client whose general issues were around weight loss, and getting back to feeling confident and not squeezing tightly into her clothes. In the course of the conversation it was apparent that she would be comfortable and okay for 3-4 weeks at a time and then would fall off the wagon and “binge” for a period of time. The binge period was always broken by self control in the end, by arriving at the conclusion that “enough was enough”. However, she then had to go through the detox and rehab required to get back to feeling good again.

This is all familiar territory – and so having discovered what stopped the binges I moved to discover what started them – ie what pushed her off the wagon. It turned out it was pretty much all work related stresses and situations, and whilst I was on the point of exploring those areas she said, “Oh but that’s coming to an end because in two months time I start a new job.”
So – the conversation moved to this and how she felt and what about the job would be likely to impinge upon her. She then uttered that time-worn phrase that reveals everything we encounter about a new job – “of course there will be stresses especially at the start of the new job because I want to make a good impression…”

Having got her to pause, I asked her to put herself in the shoes of the people at her new place of work.
“You’ve just chosen this person (you) above many others (probably) to fill this role in your organisation, because of what this person (you) brings to the table in terms of work, expertise and personality. You’ve already made the best possible impression, haven’t you?”
“Oh yes,” she said, “I happen to know they have been trying to fill this post for over a year.”
“Now,” I said. “Can you show or describe in physical terms, what you are like when you are trying hard to do something – like trying hard to make an impression.”
She got into an expression of tense determination, tight jawed, gripped hands, rigid shoulders. “Relax,” I said, “You’re a very good actress – I’m impressed!”

And then I asked one of the mind-shifting questions that set the scene for using
Clean Language:
“And what are you like when you’re working at your best?”
There was an electric pause as she went inside and presented all the answers to herself, before telling me,
“I’m calm, relaxed, focussed and concentrating.”
“And when calm, relaxed, focussed and concentrating – that’s like what?”
“Oh it’s very, very easy.”
“And when very, very easy, and calm, relaxed, focussed and concentrating – what happens to make an impression?”
She smiled with total recognition.
“I don’t have to try,” she said.

“So, is the new job going to be less stressful knowing that you don’t have to try to make an impression – rather that you just have to be how you are when you’re working at your best?”
“And how do you feel about the job now, looking forward?”
“Even more excited.”

We then continued to discuss, with even more clarity, how the new job would present adjustments to her lifestyle which could facilitate all the exercise and dietary changes she was planning to make – so that everything could be integrated into making her life much more pleasing and fulfilling.

Seems to me to be a pretty good recipe for going forward!

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