Archie: Great energy in this blog today. I’d like to start by telling you something about me that very few know. I always put my sugar in my tea with my left hand. Now something about you that people don’t know – it’s a great way to introduce yourself to someone you don’t know.
Phil: I am currently writing a fictitious conversation about me and a trainer from a course I’ve been on for two days to exemplify the trainer and the kind of things I noticed about his behaviour.
Archie: Great energy in that, Phil. Great. Sense of humour – important in relationships of all kinds. What you’ve done there is great. Great energy. You didn’t realise it but you were doing that for my benefit, to put me at ease.
Phil: I was doing it to…
Archie: You’ve jumped in there, Phil. Great energy in that: jumping in. Great energy. Maybe, just maybe that energy could be better served thinking about what you learned from how you handled our earlier interaction. And see what you said, “I was”. Maybe you should be thinking about the other people in the room. Maybe about me.
Phil: But I ….
Archie: I. You’ve done it again there, I. You start a lot of sentences with I. I wouldn’t do that. What you won’t find me doing is me talking about me. I – in fact – make it a personal daily goal to not really say I or me. The worst thing is when people talk about themselves too much. Take this for example: I went camping this weekend with my wife and the caravan fell on her. All she could talk about was the agony in her shattered shin bones, about how she was trapped. What she isn’t thinking about there is Archie. What does Archie want out of this? What is Archie feeling about my pain? What resolution is Archie looking for? Is Archie OK? What she HADN’T realised was that I had an emergency of my own: I’d misplaced some orange juice a few weeks before and the noise of her shins breaking had reminded me of that orange juice misplacement. The beauty of this is that I don’t mistake from mistakes – that’s a mistake a lot of people will make. I LEARN from my event-experiences. What had I learned from orange juice misplacing? That getting upset about lost orange juice to the extent I was violently sick, it didn’t happen-make me emotionally happy.
Phil: I think everybody gets the point.
Archie: Great energy there, Phil. Great energy. You’re right to focus on me here, though. What any conversation needs is a silent partner. Sit me around a table and I’m the silent partner. Nods, smiles. Acknowledge the speaker. What’s happening here: I am using verbal versions of non-verbal acknowledgements in order to facilitate this conversation. As a guide I’m basically here not to get involved but to point you in the right direction. And when you give me the feedback at the end of the day I need you to acknowledge all the things I think, preferably in my words; why put them in your own? Don’t you think I have thought about what I am going to say? People often stop me, like I have here, to say Archie, you’re great – you have the best energy I’ve ever seen. It takes a lot of courage to say that to me. The kind of courage you have to be me to have. I remember a couple of months ago I was at a funeral. It was a small family gathering. Very intimate. And people were taking turns to say something about what the departed meant to them. After a few people I stepped in…People, I said, don’t you think this would be more respectful if everybody said one thing they disliked about the dead person and one thing they liked about me? It created a great energy and most people agreed that it was the best mourning learning they had been part of. My son wasn’t the only thing buried that day – a lot of negative energy was too.
Phil: I’m out of here.
Archie: Great energy leaving that. Great energy.