Martin Messier

July 31, 2023

George Carlin’s coaching secrets

I miss George Carlin sorely. Almost every day.

I wish he were here to witness and comment on everything that's going on in the world. Oh, he would have had a field day with all this...

Every time I hear people talk about the environment, his monologue on saving the planet comes to mind. If you've never heard it, look for it on YouTube. It's a one-of-a-kind piece of acidic standup comedy interlaced with deep philosophy.

In that monologue, he says one line that hints at a principle particularly relevant when using modeling in coaching:

"How about those people in Kilauea, Hawaii who build their homes right next to an active volcano and then wonder why they have lava in the living room?"

The unstated assumption behind Carlin's line is "these people need to move!"

It's the exact same statement I made when I lived in Northeastern Brazil, where hundreds of thousands of people live in desert, arid areas where it's almost impossible to grow food.

"These people need to move!"

(Incidentally, Sam Kinison did a hysterical bit about world hunger referencing this exact phenomenon. Also available on YouTube.)

You can take this line and apply it to pretty much any client's problem state, which bridges us into coaching.

When you're working with a client who is stuck, always keep in mind:

"This person needs to move! Specifically, (s)he needs to go where the problem isn't."

That's where modeling-centered coaching excels. By definition, modeling always takes us where the problem isn't.

People are pliable creatures — physically, mentally and emotionally. Question is, do they remember it?

Do you remember it? Do your clients remember it?

If not, when would now be a good time to remember it?

Don't spend time in the problem. Go where the problem doesn't even exist.

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