Words are like a chameleon,
they change colour depending on their environment.
Let’s look at the word „help“. Helping an older woman by carrying a heavy bag means that I am actively doing a job for her that she can no longer do herself.
Helping a child with homework means that I am not doing exactly that, that I am not taking over the work that the child is supposed to learn. Instead, it is about being supportive and patient in the process.
The same goes for concepts and ideas. There is the concept of home, which, fortunately for many people, still triggers a sense of belonging, safety and security.
It is quite different for those of us who were affected by the propaganda of the Nazi regime. Here, “ homeland “ means conquest, expulsion and violence.
In coaching, „achievement“ is such a term. Most people understand performance to mean when someone in a competitive sport is a fraction of a second faster or a few centimetres further than their competitors.
Performance shows an entirely different colouring when it is about increasing oneself without someone else losing out or even being harmed.
A current example of the colouring of terms is autism or ADHD.
On the background of a classical concept of illness as represented by ICD 11, they are mental illnesses that must be treated.
If I look at them under the aspect of #neurodiversity, they are variants within broadly distributed possibilities of the expression of our brains. They offer the possibility to perform in ways that are impossible for others.
I would like us as coaches to use the freedom to choose from the many possible interpretations our thinking allows, which promise the greatest possible benefit for all concerned. We should succeed in this with #curiosity and #appreciation for the life and well-being of all.
I am Eberhard Bohrisch, a systemic psychologist and one of the few active coaches with more than 50 years of professional experience.