Like good old brief coaching

By Kati Hankovszky

The biggest amazement of my summer happened thanks to a Swiss handyman.

We cleared our schedule for two days to prepare our apartment for being painted. We have been living there for three years already, without ever taking the time for a spring-cleaning. There was a lot to do.

The painter arrived at the time we agreed on – he was not even the boss of the painting company, but an employee. At this point I had no idea that this experience would become an inspiring metaphor for a masterful coaching.

Three days after the painter left, I was still spending time happily tidying up, and I realized: THIS IS LIKE GOOD OLD BRIEF COACHING!!

  • The painter left without leaving any traces. Yes, I kept cleaning up for a long time, I tidied up, rearranged, but I didn’t clean up any traces of the painter’s work.
  • The traces he left were completely limited to the areas he had painted: The walls and the ceilings of the rooms. These were brilliant white. But at the same time, nothing else was; not the floor, not the door handle or the window glasses, not one drop, no forgotten remains of tape, nothing.
  • We scheduled two days for the painting, but by noon the first day we already knew that the painter would be so quick, that we might gain a whole day!
  • The transitions had started earlier. I had made decisions and was very enthusiastic about changes: If our walls were already white, why not also clean the cupboards and shelves?
  • I kind of expected something bad: Chaos, mess, and lots of inconveniences. Part of my relief was how subtle everything went, and how unstressed I was getting back into our rooms.
  • Even after the painter left, I kept on surfing on this wave of changes; very self-determined, happily, and lively. I cleaned, rearranged, and the renewal started to draw bigger and bigger circles.

To coach this way, that is mastery!!