Untangle and grow

A blog by Alison Maxwell

Monday, 17 March 2014

The either/or trap

I'm sitting today with a new coaching client - a likeable man in a demanding job, but stuck in the 'either/or trap'.  On one hand he wants to move on in his career but isn't sure he's got what it takes, but on the other hand he feels a sense of duty to his team, but loathes the culture of his organisation. He's in the 'either/or trap' - stuck between two equally unpalatable choices, expending massive mental energy but not getting anywhere or making any decisions.

The 'either/or trap' is a classic dilemma that often presents itself in coaching conversations. Curiously enough the client will often show you this dilemma with their body language as well as their verbal descriptions - literally holding the two halves of their problem in their hands. This is a tip-off that the client has made the assumption that they only two choices, and the trick (if indeed it is a trick) is to help them step outside of this self-created mental limitation. This could be looking for a third way forward, or perhaps a compromise between their choices or... or...

No comments:

Post a Comment