Saturday, June 11, 2011

Lessons from a Cat on How to Behave as a Coach

Getting ready to become an ex-pat by moving from the U.S. to Canada was a challenge for everyone involved: myself and my cat. Well, she didn’t comment too often.

I was thinking about this and how the experience of my cat would benefit me as a coach.

Before you LOL too much …
First of all, my kitty is marvelously adorable, 10-year-old, Lynxpoint Siamese, petite and attached to me. Vets have verified that “Jardine” believes I am her mother. That may explain some of this. Jardine is a foundling, named after the restaurant in San Juan Bautista, California where she was wandering in an alley at the ripe old age of 8 weeks.

Where do I start?
First, it’s nice to take a break from an everyday routine. For me it is.
For a cat, not so great.
No go here.

Next, chaos is exciting and challenging. Gets my blood flowing. Things are happening.
For a cat, not so great.
No go here.

Just as you’re getting bored by all of this, it’s not about what’s happening, not happening, routine or not routine.

It’s about that “being” state … you know …being who we are. She’s a cat and I am not.

Therefore, as an ever-learning, ever-developing, ever-aging coach, I must constantly take life as a lesson … to become a story in a future client conversation, of course!

Lessons learned traveling from Raleigh, North Carolina USA to Kingston, Ontario Canada with Jardine:

1. Cats hate hotel rooms.
2. Cats love to slink around and hide under beds.
3. Cats can sleep (somewhat) in a moving car.
4. Cats don’t automatically fall in love with their carrying cases (even when the case is rather chic and au current). In fact, it becomes an object of hate and fear.
5. A cat who has lived with one person all her life has a bit of a challenge when suddenly living with two persons in a different house.
6. Cats are truly adaptable and have modest needs.
7. Cats take care of their physical needs no matter what and where.
8. Cats purr when staff is acting as massage therapist and chef.
9. Cats truly adapt rapidly to an entirely new environment by marking every piece of furniture, both computers, all appliances, and accepting new kitty litter.

So this coach has learned (or is learning) the her version of these lessons:

1. A coach must always be coach-like even when disliking staying in a hotel room with a cat who clearly hates the hotel room and hides under the bed.
2. A coach must always be coach-like when crawling on the hotel room floor to find and capture the cat.
3. A coach must always be coach-like when driving in a car with a cat who vocalizes her unhappiness.
4. A coach must always be a grateful coach when cat is sleeping.
5. A coach must always admire a chic and au current carrying case even when cat doesn’t care about such things.
6. A coach must adapt readily to living with her significant other in another country so as to not disturb the cat’s psyche.
7. A coach must always be adaptable and have modest needs. (Not really.)
8. A coach must take care of her physical needs no matter what (after cat is fed).
9. A coach must learn to purr … what? Well, I guess that’s going too far but it would be nice to be able to purr sometimes when things go wonderfully well…

as they did and as they are.