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Root Causes

One of the most interesting and possibly frustrating aspects about being a coach is when couples, partners or friends tattletale on each other. What I mean by that is they want to tell me stories about the other and and vice versa. It seems to be human nature, yet so unproductive.

When I coach, what I look for are the root causes generally comprised of mistrust, disappointment, fear, anger, wanting to control one another - to name a few.

Next time, before you go pointing fingers about who was right or wrong or who was the most disappointed or hurt, go beyond the story details. Listen to what the other person is saying and read between the lines - most of us can do that if we set our minds to it. Breathe deeply and try not to start formulating your next sentence when the other person is talking. Go deeper and figure out what the true emotion is at the root. It’s phenomenal how much mud slinging you avoid identifying what is truly going on inside of your psyche.

For example, just recently my husband and and I were talking about making a grocery shopping run. After we made the list I chimed in and said "oh could you run down to Walmart and get some of the chocolate whipped cream I like?" His response was "I’m not going to Walmart. I’m not going to be able to spend any money at Walmart." I looked at him and scratched my head and proceeded to chide him. He said "once I do the grocery shopping we won’t have any money left over to go to Walmart." I said "you mean there won’t be any money left over for a can of $2.89 whip cream?" Well you can imagine it just went downhill from there. When we were able to stop and take a break we thought about the culprit - an unexpected car repair that threw our budget off. So chocolate whipped cream at Walmart was the evidence of how thrown off he felt. It really wasn’t about Walmart or the or the whipped cream, it was his anxiety and stress about finances. From there, we were able to have a completely different discussion which ended in a positive way. Yes you read it right - an argument over Hersheys chocolate whipped cream. By the way, it was so yummy!

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