It’s never about the “how to” – it’s about the “want to”

I’m in the middle of a coaching call with an agency owner, and we’ve gotten down to the root of a problem that’s been plaguing him for a while. He now sees clearly what needs to be done, but it’s not going to be easy…he falls silent as he contemplates his choices.

“I’m not sure I know how to do that…” He said.

Now, in my consulting days, I would have jumped on that statement.

I would have built out a 10-point plan with accountabilities and measurements to ensure that we would get to a successful outcome.

But I’ve learned better…

It’s not about the ‘how to,’ it’s about the ‘want to.’

When I hear, “I don’t know how” I have come to realize that the client is dodging me (and himself).

You see, I work with smart, creative, and capable people. If they want to do something, they will figure out how to do it.

No, when they say, “I don’t know how…” what it really means is, “I don’t want to…

So instead of building out that plan, I paused and waited. Sometimes silence is all it takes to let the desire build inside, but I could see him hardening his resistance to the idea.

OK, don’t do it. I’m sure it will be fine the way it is, I said.

He exploded. “NO! I can’t leave it the way it is. It’s been too long like this. I have to fix it now!”

After that, he wrote down his own plan easily. It just tumbled out.

Where are you telling yourself, “I don’t know how to.” How can you increase your commitment or desire for the change you don’t know how to achieve?

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