I spent some time at my dad and my mom’s house, in Grenoble, my hometown in France.
I noticed there were a few things that could make my parents’ life simpler. They couldn’t see it themselves, (you know we can’t see our own blind spots).
I noticed that one thing created a lot of tension on a regular basis:
It happened in the kitchen, when my mom would heat a cup of tea in the microwave. She would rush before the end of the timer count, to open the door for the microwave to prevent it from beeping. Indeed, the beeping drove my dad crazy, and he would feel a lot of irritation because of the noise. This microwave did not have a sweet little bell ring. It was a very annoying beep.
This would cause my mom and my dad to adapt their behavior according to the microwave, and to prevent it from beeping at all costs. It was distracting for them (they would stop whatever they were doing in the kitchen) and delaying them (they had to wait by the microwave be ready to press the “Stop button” to avoid the beep!). The microwave had done a great job at training my parents to be its slave.
Yes, you could think we can retrain ourself: do some inner work to stop being annoyed, to “love what is”, to accept things as they are.
I don’t take that. There are moments where you need to make the world work according to you.
As the Serenity Prayer, as written by Reinhold Niebhur says:
I will not be a slave to a machine, and I won’t let my parents be one either.
At first, I researched whether we could purchase a new microwave that didn’t beep, but I found nothing.
Some models had a function to deactivate the beeping by pressing two buttons, but I wasn’t convinced that it would justify buying a new microwave.
I ended up finding that a DIY special operation could get things fixed.
I opened up the microwave, desoldered one tiny pin, and put the metal cover back.
I put a cup of water to heat, and as I hit a button, the microwave remained silent.
At the end of the time count, it didn’t beep.
JS: 1 – Microwave: 0.
Silence is gold.
All it took was determination, not accepting things as they are, doing a bit of research, overcoming the self limiting belief that I am “not the kind of guy who is good at repairing stuff” and getting things done.
Most importantly, it took acting like a surgeon: all it took was to deactivate one tiny pin for things to run smoothly, and deactivate a source that provoked irritation and strong reactions at least twice a week (that is: 104 times per year). Problem solved in about 15 minutes.
The story omits to tell about some initial resistance I faced when I wanted to bring about this change. And the funny thing is: the resistance came from the people who would most benefit from the change !
Indeed, the first evening I wanted to do my Special Ops, I was discouraged by my dad who suggested to postpone the operation because it was “too late.” (Love you pap’ ❤ !)
Yes, your clients will want to delay change.
My mom was also wary, because there is a sticker on top of the microwave that warned against opening the metal cover due to the potential for radiation (better watch out when you carry out your Special Ops in a Nuclear Power plant!).
Your clients will be afraid of what happens if you open the pandora box together.
Coaching is like finding that pin in the microwave, and deactivating it with precision, so that your clients can enjoy life, grow their business and stop being a slave to their outdated way of being and functioning in the world so they can enjoy what they really want.
What is beeping in your world?
What would life / business look like if you deactivated it?
What would it take to deactivate it?
What if it was easy?