Coaching and Orthopedic Medicine
October 24, 2007 § 2 Comments
Huh? Yes I know what you’re thinking. Something like “huh”? I get lots of emails asking what goes on in coaching and how I could coach in so many different areas and with people of different ages and how is it different than the one-size-fits-all and do-these-ten-things-and-your-
life/career/schooling/creativity/relationship-will-be-completely-fixed-and perfect. I never would have thought of Orthopedic Medicine as a metaphor to describe the coaching I do except that I broke my foot and had the opportunity of spending time in the Orthopedist’s office and see the things that he does. First of all my deepest gratitude, respect and thanks to my doctor. He is the best.
So the waiting room is jam packed, I take my usual spot right near the door, take the latest issue of Outside magazine and wait. People of all ages, shapes and sizes come in. From senior citizens to juniors in high school to babies. People in lots of pain, moderate amounts of pain or discomfort. People walking in on crutches, being wheeled in in wheelchairs, walking unassisted but limping, walking in leaning on someone else. People at all stages of their injuries, just happened yesterday, fell last year but still bothering me, healing very well and even a pair of mirror injuries.
What’s different about everyone there? The people are all different, at different stages of their lives, the circumstances that brought them there are different, the injuries are different, the way that they’ll heal is different, what they’ll need to heal will vary, how long it will take them to heal will vary.
What’s the same about everyone there? For the most part the people’s internal musculature is the same, bones, ligaments all the internal stuff we can’t see.
What else is the same? The doctor’s knowledge of that internal network and the ways to figure out what’s wrong and how to fix it. How to get people back on their way. Whatever way that was/is and whatever way they want that to be going forward.
Not everyone came in there needing to be able to walk for hours and hours every day like I do. Some people might have come in because they want to do the Ironman (I’ve often wished I wanted to….) some people might just want more range of motion, flexibility, to lessen pain, to increase mobility and on and on.
I didn’t even know how many things an orthopedist does until I left and took a look at my receipt. It was a full page of all the different areas and treatments that a patient might need treatment for. Truly I had no idea. The doctor is trained to know those areas, the injuries, how to detect them and how to treat them. Everyone left his office in better shape then they were when they came in.
How does that relate to coaching and TIER(c) coaching in particular? Well, I work with people of all different ages, at different stages of their lives, who come in with different life experiences and want different things moving forward. How could that possibly be one-size-fit-all? How could there possibly be a magic bullet that works for everyone? Believe me I wish there were, I would have tried it myself years ago.
The TIER(c)system is an outgrowth of my training and experience as an educator, mental health professional, director, planner and developer of programs, the creative arts and a vast vast insatiable curiosity about people, what they want and how to help them get it. TIER(c) stands for Temperament, Intellect/Intelligence, Expectations and Reality. Everyone has different combinations of them and they work in different measures at different stages and depending on what people want.
One of the great challenges for most people is figuring out what it is that they want. For example last week I was speaking to a journalist for an article on work satisfaction. She asked terrific questions and mentioned the one-size-fits-all how-to articles about how to know when to quit a job. I was telling her about two of my clients who work at the same company and are struggling with that issue in their lives yet the coaching experience is so different for both of them. One of them is at her job as a stopgap, she’s focusing on building a business on the outside and needs her current job to support her until then. Her level of tolerance for unpleasantness is much higher than the other woman who is searching for meaningful work, thought she’d found it and now realizes that she was looking for something else.
With one client the coaching task is to manage the discomfort and continue to have energy and drive to build her business. The other client’s task is to explore alternatives and not take any measures until such time as she’s able to do what she needs to do and know what that is.
Using the TIER(c) system we find out WHO you are, WHAT you like and want, WHERE you want to go, WHEN you’d like to be there and HOW you’re best able to get there. Whether that’s work/career, transition, education, creativity whatever your unique set of circumstances and desires are.
(Yes, yes it’s that all I needed to know about coaching I learned by teaching first grade again – can’t seem to get away from that.)
Coaching helps you manage your life today, explore your dreams, options and wishes for the future, focus on the tasks necessary to achieve them, and get you on your feet to, and into, the life you want to lead!
Enjoy the day!