Technique Head

“Learn all your theories and techniques as well as you can, and then be prepared to set them aside when you meet the miracle of the miracle of the living soul in front of you.” – Carl Jung

Most trainers annoy me. Consultants, coaches and therapists too. Their head’s are full of techniques that confuse them and me. They can’t just be and get on with it – life’s too complicated and dynamic for silly models. I’m often the worst culprit trying to think about NonViolent Communication, Integral theory, NLP and somatics at the same time while asking my housemate to pass the ketchup…in a really clever way naturally. The result is that I get the brown sauce if I’m lucky and the ketchup poured on my head if I’m not. People don’t like having techniques done on them. People like authenticity flow and ease – and mostly our silly techniques don’t cut the ketchup.

Ultimately the training I’m interested in is working at the level of being rather than tips and tricks to manipulate others. This takes some of the edge off “technique-head” as I’m working on myself. I dislike much of the NLP I’ve seen as it seems to be more about getting what you want than personal transformation – but practitioners of any art can be irritating technique heads. Even while working on yourself there is still a conscious incompetence (obvious and annoying) and conscious competence phase (sometimes even more obvious and annoying).

So what to do? Give up learning new stuff all together? Well no. It takes practice to learn, but once deeply assimilated techniques stop being clunky and become invisible. If you can hear the phone itself it doesn’t work well…yet. For me the key is to practice explicitly with permission from others involved– in my experience people don’t mind this and you won’t make an idiot of yourself. When you get good at whatever, you forget you’re even “doing” something. If you’re remembering and referring back to theory, you’re still in the practice stage and I’d say it’s polite to put your learner plates on and let everyone know.
Technique Head So What –Until you’re so good you forget – ask permission – you’re annoying.

Thanks to Aboodi Shabi of Newfield for the quote.