Maybe it’s the time of year, and we can that feel spring is in the air and we’re ready for some dramatic change… Have you noticed how many television programmes are about transformation of some sort? Just a quick look at BBC iPlayer reveals these:
- Homes under the Hammer – a long-running property renovation show
- The Great Interior Design Challenge – a competitionabout updating boring rooms
- DIY SOS – renovations to the rescue of people in a health pickle
- Big Dreams, Small Spaces – garden redesign on a budget
- The 100K House – architects helping people recreate their problematic home
OK, maybe this list reveals more about my interests than the state of humankind. It’s still remarkable that the BBC alone has five programmes about transforming our living space right now! In fact, the BBC has no fewer than 570 programmes (radio and television) about homes and gardens, which tells me I’m not the only one with an interest in looking after my living environment.
The hard graft involved
Programmes like the above are are very satisfactory to watch, assuming you are interested in the subject of course. The triumphant reveal at the end is accompanied by a ‘ta-dah!’ soundtrack and a cheerful voice-over listing all the improvements. The ‘before’ flashes across the screen in monochrome before the camera shows us the finished product in Technicolor. As we admire the benefits of the project we all achieve closure-by-proxy.
But for me the end result is only part of the joy. I derive a lot of pleasure from following the DIY-ers’ progress and creative problem-solving prowess. I especially like the ballsy ones that throw caution to the wind and really unleash some inner fury to tackle the task while shouting
Obstacles? Hah! My crowbar and I laugh in thy face!
They’re the ones that appear to undergo their own transformations as well as their house or garden. The bloke who only liked magnolia who paints his kitchen units purple. The mum who turns into a fully fledged bricklayer.
Such programmes are about visible transformations and they are very satisfactory to watch. When I’ve completed a coaching assignment with a client, be it a team or an individual, I’ll tell them that it has been a priviledge to work with them. That’s not an empty phrase to me, because it is humbling to be with someone who is going through such profound change that they come out transformed.
It is humbling because to change you have to be vulnerable, and to be able to be vulnerable with someone else, you have to put your trust in them. Witnessing a client transform through their persistence and effort reminds me what it takes to develop as a person. It isn’t easy. It’s painful because you lose things and sometimes people along the way. And at the end there is no spectacular reveal in Technicolor either…
My job as a coach is to take the client back to the early beginning of the journey and show the distance travelled, because it is easy to forget where you came from if the world looks different now. It never fails to take the client by surprise either when they look back. It’s not the same as popping a bottle of champagne in your fashionably purple new kitchen but I’ll tell you now that such a personal transformation will outlast any such kitchen by decades.