As a coach I help people in their professional life; managers or employees, whatever.
Since a few months I happened to help people – I will call them coachees – who had very specific relational issues with some very unpleasant coworkers of theirs.
The problem was these issues were starting to become quite unbearable and very painful for the coachees from an emotional point of view.
It was not just about disagreement : the situations were that uncomfortable that for most of the coachees they were about to doubt about themselves and about their skills. Psychological issues weren’t that far from them.
For instance I recently helped a manager – I’ll call him Tim – that had to face an ‘avoiding’ employee whom I’ll call Sam.
Sam used to flee any face-to-face professional confrontation. Anytime Tim wanted to talk to Sam about his results, about some of his reports or about his behavior, Sam was always getting away from the situation with an unpredictible and improvised excuse.
The child and the victim we were
I told Tim that, as a manager he should have been able to face such situations by strong commitment in his manager role but that he was actually himself avoiding the situation. He could have virtually stuck Sam in a corner or up on a wall. He could have called him and asked him to be first thing in his office the following morning and accept no excuse at all.
But he didn’t do so.
He was deliberately letting Sam playing his part as he wanted to and I asked him to assume the responsibility for this state of fact.
Tim admitted that he accepted what should not be accepted from any employee and after a few sessions I guided him through, he realized that he already had lived such a situation in his private life.
He recalls that when he was a child, even a teenager and a young man, each time he tried to have a genuine and intimate talk with his father, he was impossible for him to make him stay eye to eye in front of him for more than a few seconds.
The father always had better things to do.
The man we should be
Hence, here’s what I told Tim.
That’s it Tim.
You maintain this situation vivid.
You want to live this situation again and again because it’s quite familiar.
You still behave as the child you were when you had to face your father.
You put yourself as a victim regarding the fact you had an avoiding father.
As a consequence you unconsciously dove in the ‘Sam-relational’ issue and still are keeping it unsolved just to be in a the right position to complain about this.
Because you don’t want to get over the issue with your father, you don’t end the hidden conflict with Sam.
Big silence. Lot of tears.
Then Tim asked me : ‘What should I do ?‘ I then answered.
Kill the past Tim.
Your father is still alive so go and find him to stick him up on a wall.
Treat him as a partner. You are not a child anymore.
You are a samurai now.
Stick him in a corner and have the talk of your life with him. He will try to flee but you mustn’t give up.
If he cancels, call him back and make another appointment. If he doesn’t come, go and find him at his place.
Do whatever is needed, whatever the time, whatever the energy, to talk to your father and make him listen to what you have to say.
You have to face this figure of authority so to kill the past and live fully your nowadays life without fear.
That’s the fight of your life.
Get over this and you won’t have to suffer from any coworker or anyone at all ever again.
And he did.
It hadn’t been that easy and he needed several shots of courage to face his father who tried to escape. Again.
But he actually stuck him, said what he had to say and eventually became the man he deserved to be.
Into the dragon’s den
A few weeks later, Sam – the naughty avoiding employee – had to face nothing but a roaring dragon during a 15 minutes management interview.
No yelling and no anger at all but very genuine men statements.
Sam hadn’t been able to avoid it because the dragon Tim became had Sam enter his den with no other single choice whatsoever.
Tim wasn’t the same anymore.
Because he wasn’t the child of his father anymore, he wasn’t waiting for any approval from his hierarchy.
And because he took his place as a man, he took his as a manager too.
See the big picture
As a matter of fact, in very specific situations, we unsconsiously maintain the link with some part of our story.
We have to see to whole picture of our life to realize that we often reproduce some patterns of our past education and we deliberately dive over and over again into the same gladatorial issue, provoking the same inner emotional conflict.
We try to maintain the pain of the past just because it defines us.
We rather should try to get over it so to be free.
Even if being free scares us as hell we, as samurais, have to try to face this fear and face ourself like Tim did.
Otherwise we won’t ever be able to act like mature grown up people and embrace the true challenges of our life.
We samurai have to cut the link with the past so to step forward in our present life.
So, be zen, choose your best katana and, as a samurai, cut whatever link you maintain with the past that prevents you from actually being yourself.
Life is a fight.
Nothing new right here.
Using some basic samurais’ principles to lead this fight can be a good helping hand for anyone who wants to live a better life.
The right weapon
When you’re a samurai, depending on the fight you want to lead, you’ll need the right weapon.
The right katana.
If it doesn’t work so well, you’ll have to rehearse all over again with your sword so to improve your art and martial technique.
Perhaps, one day, would you want to trade your sword for another one, thinking it could make you a better warrior.
Truth is, after years, if you accept to be clever enough, you won’t have to search for any new or better katana.
Because at some point, like samurais experimented at the top of their art, the katana is just an extension of your self.
And, at the same point, the weapon is not the sword anymore.
The weapon is your warrior soul.
Hopefully, that’s a weapon you can refine for a lifetime
The right gesture
Samurais knew this.
They knew that the cut doesn’t come from the blade.
It comes from the gesture.
The gesture comes from the intention.
The intention from the mind.
Samurais knew great intentions needed a refined and sharpened mind.
They also knew their mind was the ultimate weapon they could melt down, refine and sharpen over and over again.
So, depending on the results you want to get in life, you’ll need to do likewise : work on yourself in order to be able to know precisely what is your intention.
The right intention
How so would you ask ?
First of all, be precise.
For example, what is your target ? What is your fight ?
Being happy isn’t a fight.
It’s a praise, a dream or a fantasy in which you could spend a hundred years hitting the air with your blade.
Spending at least 1 hour a day with your children is a fight.
One of the greatest of all.
Clearly identfying, with accuracy, your intention is basically finding precise answers to questions like :
- What decisions are you going to make within 6 months to get to the job you always dreamt of ?
- What are the sacrifices you’re ready to make to become a professional musician ?
- How much money are you going to put in your business to make it sustainable and profitable ?”
As far as I’m concerned, I think that answering these questions, is always like getting into the middle of the battlefield.
Fighting these questions like ennemies, giving them hard times with no mercy and, in the end, finding precise answers, step by step, one after another, will lead you to set the right intentions in your gestures.
Right gestures. Rights results.
And then ?
Don’t think too long.
Do something, get into action, run some tests, observe what happens throughout what you provoke and refine yourself once again.
All of this is about what the world is waiting for you to do.
It’s all about your path, the direction you want to follow and the steps you’ll accept to walk through.
It’s kind of a quest.
And, as you can see through this post, this quest can be quite simply wrote down.
But not so easy to lead.
But after all, how is this so different from any other quest ?