(All names have been changed)
Mark was having difficulty finding work. He was construction. He always got great feedback with any job. He works well and fast. He knows what he is doing; he’s an expert. He doesn’t understand why his calendar isn’t filling up with work. What’s wrong with people?
ME: What you think what is the issue?
MARK: Well, I have a big mouth. I tend to be kind of a know-it-all (his eyes got wide and he looked down) and some of my clients don’t like it.
ME: How would you feel if you pay for somebody and they tell you wrong, and you need to do what they say?
MARK: (keeps looking down and away)
We set up footprints that represent him and footprints that represent his clients. I put someone else from the workshop on Mark’s footprints and someone on the client’s footprints.
MARK REP: He feels very large. Like he is above this. What are they thinking? Who are they are to telling him what to and how to do it?
CLIENTS REP: Clients feel closed off–they know he is a very good worker, but he’s hard to work with.
I see this situation is not going to resolve it self, so I bring in his dad. He was best friend with his father who had a same attitude. Egoistic, not that many people could understand him, and he loved get into a fight with anyone, just to see who is a better man. Unfortunately, Mark’s father passed years ago, and Mark still feels the loss. He couldn’t say goodbye.
We set the father and son footprints up toe to toe, face to face. For a few minutes they both stand there, crying. There was much love and unspoken words there.
DAD: I wish I could go back and tell you how I was is not the way you should be. I was arrogant because I felt alone, that I needed the protection. I was a kind and nice man, but I learned at an early age if I am nice, I will get stepped on. So I changed my attitude to protect myself. But I wish I had learned how to be more open in some situations.
I could see Mark start to loosen up. Hearing his dad he could let his ego go. He was beginning to feel better and understand that being vulnerable is not the same as being weak.
After he heard what he need to hear from his father, I turned him around to speak to his client. He was more realistic and realized he needed to be polite and respectful. He was safe and did not need the extra protection of a know-it-all attitude. He understands that he is not less of a man for being polite, he is smart. Being polite will bring him more work and more money.
In the end I told him write down what he learned, that every job is a job. Big jobs, always start with a small job.
One month later he wrote me that he had been working everyday since our constellation. He thanked me for helping him learn how to put ego to the side when he goes in for a job.