Category Archives for "Coaching"

Jun 01

The Deal with Dodson

By | Coaching , People , Teachers

I recently sponsored and took a workshop with Frederick Dodson, "reality creation" coach and author of more than 23 books, including the classic Parallel Universes of Self. 

It was an interesting experience, one I'll likely be processing for some time.

I;'m aware when talking attempting to describe one's participation in these types of human potential workshops, what one says about the workshop is less a description of the workshop, but more a description of the participant.

I mean it's kind of like the Hawthorne effect, when the observer of a particular phenomenon alters whatever he or she observes. Or something like that.

So anyway, I don't want to describe the actual workshop, but my perception of the workshop leader.

I should say at the outset that I'm an old hand at observing teachers. In my former capacity as a journalist, I've been up close and personal to quite a few, including Masahiro Oki (look him up!), Michio Kushi, and John-Roger, just to name a few. I've written about some of these encounters in my book, Notes for a New Age.​ 

So, when I'm in these situations, I find myself studying the particularities of the teacher, such things as their presentation style, the way they interact with students, their use of charisma etc.

I'm also aware that doing this is a kind of weakness, in that it can detract my attention from the actual transmission of teaching and my learning.

I could say a lot about Dodson, but the thing I want to highlight is his extraordinarily original style. I mean, I've taken a fair amount of workshops over the years and most of them are derivative. ​In other words, if you are generally familiar with the subject, you can pretty much see where particular activities or philosophies come from or what lineage the presenter represents.

But I couldn't see Dodson's antecedents; his style was totally his own.

There is something to be said about originality.

Original thinkers have totally digested and  internalized what they've learned from others and come out with something new.

There is an authenticity there and this is what I sensed from Dodson.​

Oct 06

Custom Intervention #1

By | Coaching , Uncategorized

A newlywed friend posted her dilemma on a private social networking site. She loved her new husband, but wished he would eat kosher with her. This was something important to her, and she didn’t know how to influence him to take that step.

After thinking about her post, I invited her to lunch to share my point of view. “You should end it now,” I told her. “This will never work.” My reasoning was that she was on a path to putting him in a box he didn’t want to be in. Even if he went along with her, he wouldn’t be doing this for himself and in time would probably resent her for restricting in him.

She told me she loved him, and didn’t want to leave him.

Then, we settled on a way for her to introduce the conversation.

“There is something very important I want to share with you, but it’s a bit delicate. I hope you’ll be patient and allow me to begin with a metaphor…

“I don’t usually care for sports, but one I do love to watch is basketball. It isn’t just all those tall athletic guys running up and down the court, but the fact that their roles are all so specialized. One guy, the point guard, orchestrates the flow of the team. Another guy is what they call a banger: his thing is to work inside and get rebounds. Yet another guy’s role is to stay on the perimeter and be ready to shoot three-pointers. What works on a good team is that everyone knows and embraces his role…

“Now I love this in the sport of basketball, but in real life I’ve never really been good at teamwork. Maybe it’s because I’m an only child, and maybe that’s why I’ve been single for so long…

“But I fell deeply in love with you last month, and maybe a bit impulsively we got married: the ultimate team arrangement. And I’ve realized there’s this one thing I never fully shared with you, at least not seriously. You know that I’m Jewish and that’s really important to me. You’ve realized by now that I eat kosher, and do so religiously…

“What I’ve realized this week is that I’d love it if you ate kosher with me. I don’t expect you to covert, or anything like that. It just would mean a lot to me if we could share this together…

“I love you deeply, and have been looking to find a way to to talk this over. I’m not asking you to make any decisions about this now, but I just wanted to talk with you about this. Can you let me know what you think?”

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