50 First Dates
Remember this one? It follows the story of Henry, (played by modern comedic savant Adam Sandler), a womanizing marine veterinarian who falls for an art teacher named Lucy (played by multigenerational screen darling Drew Barrymore and who doesn’t love Drew?). When he discovers she has amnesia and doesn’t remember him a day later, he resolves to win her over again each new day.
Recently, in my coaching professional development group, we learned how to play more in our client engagements. It was fun and also demonstrated our ability to forget our clients’ need to see things in new and different ways each and every time we connect.
At one point, we played a Zoom version of Roshambo (aka: Rock, Paper, Scissors). It was a bit wacky and I was never really sure whom I was playing. It rang a bell though of the ever-insightful Lisa Simpson, of the iconic cartoon family The Simpsons, waxing thoughtfully about her brother Bart. “Poor Bart,” she lamented, “always chooses Rock,” Worth a chuckle for sure, and also a reminder that there is always a different way. And possibly, a better way.
Truthfully, I was thinking about how, as coaches, we approach our clients in thoughtful, creative, wise and very curious ways. Any of these perspectives can be waylaid by our laziness in how we serve them each time we are connected. And frankly, this is not limited to coaches. Whether it’s a client, customer, family member, or significant other; what can you do differently in the moment that you haven’t tried before?
So, here is my Roshambo for all we connect to…
The ubiquitous Rock. The power fist. Translation: when can you apply power to a connection in such a way that the person with whom you are interacting sees what they can accomplish if they move forward? What’s the consequence of making this decision? How powerful do you feel making it?
The quiet, subtle position. Paper offers a space for creativity. What are your options? Venn diagrams, storyboards, Wheels of Life, Cynefin frameworks, assessments; all of these and more depict ways we are and can be with clients, employees, partners. So now what? What will you commit to…”paper”?
Cutting edge. What’s different about this idea, move, perspective, decision? How will it “cut” through what’s holding you back in your interaction? What’s one thing, just one thing, you can cut that will allow you to take a step forward with the other person?
Ultimately, while there are strategies for Roshambo in tournament play, it is impossible to gain an advantage over a truly random opponent. And in reality, human players tend to be non-random and that holds true especially when the opponent is ourselves. So the next time you’re with a client, and get ready to shout “ROCK!,” try winning them over again. Maybe you actually throw Paper, or surprise them with Scissors! Just don’t run with them…
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