You can’t create happiness for someone else. That responsibility is entirely up to them.
Pop-Culturally, in America, we are inundated with the elusive mirage of the “Happy Customer”.
For no logical reason whatsoever, we are to continue along the rainbow until we reach this mythical pot of gold.
Sadly, it is no different in the world of leadership and coaching. Attempting to create lasting happiness, for a client, a spouse, or a child, is impossible.
Often, in the medical and coaching community, the question arises, “How do you create such happy patients/clients?”
But this question isn’t just from potential or curious customers, even fellow practitioners and coaches tend to ask this question amongst other colleagues in the industry.
Yet, those that ask this question clearly don’t understand the inner workings and thought processes of those “happy patients”.
These leaders and outside clientele are confused as to how people can be so excited to continue to do the things that they “don’t want to do.”
But, to fully absorb what these curious outsiders are observing, you must enter the eye of the beholder.
You must meet the client in their perception of the forgotten place called “reality.”
The reality is that motivationally-minded clients seek out coaching in order to:
• “Heal” their inflammatory markers, so that they can finally “live a little”.
• “Agree” to every single habit changing suggestion you have to offer, so that they can touch base 3 weeks later having implemented none of them.
How do you, as a leader and coach, motivate and talk these people out of mediocrity?
How do you create these “happy” clients?
How do you stop an alcoholic from drinking?
How do you stop a social “carboholic” from indulging while interacting with friends?
Simple, you do NOT because you canNOT.
For if the coach believes that they can, they will repeatedly remain the barrier or restriction to progress. A hopeless, “busy” and seemingly committed roadblock to their clients’ sought after refinement.
What you CAN do is exhaust yourself making futile attempts to motivate them to change what, ultimately, they don’t really WANT to change; to continue to WANT their health (and their life for that matter) to be something that the client can’t imagine it to be for themselves. Choosing, as their coach and mentor, to continue to fail, repeatedly.
Dr. Lee Thayer articulates this rather nicely,
“People have learned how to deal with those who would ‘motivate’ them to be someone other than who they are. They go along with it by agreeing, and then go right back to where they were. Equally seriously, you cannot ‘motivate’ someone to
1. Do what they cannot do, or
2. Give up their lives for something they can’t believe in because it is not the ‘truth’.”
Many have been fooled by their students, employees, children, and clients before.
They have been duped into believing that the unwilling soul (the client or student), on the receiving end, has absorbed their belabored professing as “truth.”
Although, this doesn’t stop the panacea of “would be” motivators out there. Many have tried, and very few have succeeded. But, why is that?
Because once you have sold a mediocre person on a process or idea that is greater than their current life and the reality that they have created for themselves, you had better follow up with the discount on an accompanying bridge, ladder, or escalator.
The "quick fix" or simple "how to guide".
Although, It doesn’t matter what vehicle is chosen. What is relevant here is that until the mediocre person changes themselves and their thinking about the world and/or their health, they will inevitably regress and persist to claw their way back to comfort.
So, the questions remain:
1. How does the leader/coach get people to do what they ought to do?
2. How does the leader/coach get people NOT to do what they ought not to do?
We know one answer for certain: Not by talking about it or by motivating them to do it.
Talk does not cook rice.
Successful mentors, leaders, and coaches first make it possible for the clients and followers to achieve what it is they seek. Then, and only then, they make it necessary.
For the world has had front row seats, for years, viewing the entertainment that consists of coaches attempting to make necessary a task that the client CANNOT do.
People cannot, and will not, do any task or accomplish any feat that they are incapable of accomplishing.
Newborns don’t walk.
Pigs don’t fly.
And unwilling souls do not allow benefits to be conferred upon them.
What are leaders, employers, and coaches to do once they give up the insanity of motivation?
The learners may start by choosing those clients and employees that CAN achieve what it is they set out to do.
Next, they determine what level and type of necessity are required to “encourage” the task or goals to be completed.
Two kinds exist:
1. Internal Necessity
2. External Necessity
External necessity requires very little explanation. Those of us who were lucky enough to have “caring” parents, remember all too well how effectively the belt or rod “motivated” us.
Yet, internal necessity is a different beast. It consists of Competence and Conscience.
As Dr. Thayer states:
“Competence is its own ‘motive’. If you can do a thing, you WILL do it. If you can do a thing WELL, you will do that thing WELL.
If you are competent at doing a thing, you will figure out how to do it better. The conscientious person refuses to default himself. It is conscience that makes it necessary for us to do what we ought to do, and to refrain from doing what we ought not to do.
A trained and disciplined conscience is worth more than all the sticks and carrots you could buy.”
There seems, then, that a choice exists for anyone out there seeking to find the “right people”.
Either choose to enforce that “your people” can only deal in the consequences or choose to continue to chase wishful thinking.
Choices have consequences. Making choices that result in the consequences that you imagine for yourself, or your organization, seems to fit the definition of “success” rather nicely, no?
“Either make the wrong people into the right people, or make room for the right people.” — Dr. Lee Thayer
Ultimately, what separates the best coaches, leaders, and business owners from the sea of “Wantrepreneurs” out there is that they make the conscious decision to answer the following question about themselves:
“Why is it that I don’t need someone else to motivate me?”
Ponder the best answers that you can come up with and you will have figured out the majority of what you need to be intolerant of as a leader and EVERYTHING you ever need to know about “motivation”.