When did you last meet a “Name Dropper”?

Alok  (fictional character) could qualify for the position of the world’s greatest “name dropper”. It was virtually impossible for him to talk without bringing up his associations with this or that big shot. Another notable characteristic about him was that he bragged to people about his accomplishments often.

A closer look revealed that  associations (with those so called  big shots) need not necessarily have been in real, they were often made up in his head and the accomplishments were at times made up too!!

Why would someone do that?

Did Alok have a need for recognition;  that if people would not recognize him it wouldn’t feel right?

While it is often quite appropriate for us to tell others about one’s life happenings one needs to careful of not falling into the trap of slowly becoming a victim of the need to inform others to ensure self satisfaction. Once one puts the word need in his/her vocabulary, he is at the mercy of other people’s recognition of him – and if they refuse to recognize the person’s value / achievements for whatever reasons, the person collapses.

Are you doing that to yourself?

Are you giving away the right to others to be able to frustrate you?

Are you giving the power to others to make you or break you?

When Alok (back to the story) introspected, he noticed that his need to be important in other people’s eyes came from a his feeling of self worthlessness, which in turn had come from something which happened to him years ago which made him view himself as a failure.

Since then he had been on a mission to prove to everyone else “how great he was”.

But the sad part was everyone saw through him and he became a victim of his own low self esteem. When he name-dropped, his friends would just ignore him. When he bragged about himself he would similarly alienate his family, relatives and friends.

He then began a journey of extricating himself from his own trap. He consciously made efforts at avoiding bragging, boasting and “look at me” behavior. Once these behaviors subsided, he was more pleasant to be around, he began to have greater self confidence and most importantly he stopped being victimized by his own attitudes and behaviors.

The key here lies in how you feel about yourself. If you have self confidence, then pleasing yourself will be enough, since the self you are pleasing is worthy!

But if you lack self esteem then you will look to others for verification of yourself, and this is where you could get into trouble-Once you HAVE to get that reinforcement from without you are volunteering for a victim status.

Use of Metaphors and Stories in Executive Coaching

A good coach usually has a lot of tools in his/her toolkit.

A proficient coach would know when to use just the right tool.

I have often found in dealing with my executive clients that the use of metaphors and story telling goes down very well with them. Suddenly they become the anxious little childern wanting to know what happened in the story next and Voila ! they have already put the jigsaw together !!

Using a story can influence the client without being directive. The client gets into a relaxed state of mind and can think clearer, better and faster.

Likewise Metaphors (Greek metapherein ) can be an excellent tool to assist the client out of a ‘stuck-state’. A metaphor is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase denoting one kind of object or idea is used in place of another to suggest a likeness or analogy between them. Metaphors take us beyond one meaning and open up new possibilities and avenues.

Transitions:Making sense of life`s changes:William Bridges:A beautiful book

They say the only thing you can count on for sure is Change and for people who like to maintain the status quo, that can be more than a little unnerving. Even when change is welcome, it is accompanied by an underlying psychological process that can often be surprisingly tumultuous.

As William Bridges says in his book, when any change occurs, it isn’t the physical change that is difficult but the psychological process that goes on when we leave one situation and enter a new one – and this is what he calls Transition.

Transition, he says, occurs in three phases (and this applies to any change)  first there is an Ending, then we wander around in the unproductive, disconnected space known as the Neutral Zone, until ultimately we embrace a New Beginning.



Whereas change is usually focused on the attainment of a new goal, transitions begin with a letting go of something, and that something is usually internal. It may be a belief, an assumption, or the way you view yourself, others or the world. The change may be your own choice (such as leaving your job or relationship) or someone else may decide for you, but regardless, the process is the same. Even when you decide to make an outer change in your life, that change is simply the outcome which your transition has prepared you for.

Bridges suggests five aspects of the natural ending experience:




disenchantment, and

disorientation.  The process of letting go of the past can bring up feelings of sadness, grief and loss as well as some relief or anticipation about the possible new future.

The Neutral Zone:

To me, this is the crux of the whole thing. The neutral zone is that in-between place where we lose our sense of relatedness and purpose. So much of who we are is tied up in the old way of life that we feel lost and empty without it. At this stage, there’s nothing new to anchor us or to give us any context or meaning, and that can be difficult, confusing and painful. Bridges suggests that many people literally go off into the “wilderness” during this phase. There’s a strong desire to be alone, to think and regroup. A lot of people report heightened intuition, personal insights and almost “spiritual” awakenings. I can readily recall The Turning Point in my own life and personally vouch for what Bridges describes in the neutral zone. I would wake up in the middle of the night……..every night…..thinking and analyzing, took up meditation, yoga, chanting, dived into astrology and spent a lot of time going for long walks on my own.

For most people, the neutral zone is a decidedly uncomfortable place to be. People around you wonder what’s going on, and make comments that you’re not yourself. They might wonder when you’ll “snap out of it”. The most important thing I’ve learned from Bridges is not to try to rush through this phase. It’s important and necessary, but for a lot of people the natural response is to grab a hold of something – anything – new, in order to get out of that uncomfortable place. If sufficient time isn’t allowed for the dust to settle and the pieces to fall back into place of their own accord, the wrong decision can easily be made.

New Beginnings:

Finally, after the endings and the wading through the neutral zone, a re-birth happens. There’s no prescription for deciding when it’s time to re-enter the world or how to choose the next “right” path to follow of all the possible options. Bridges suggests that a new beginning can happen as a result of an external cue or an inner signal, but when it presents itself it will resonate with you. You will hear the `clunck`. Out of the formlessness of the neutral zone, a new form starts to take shape and step by step, you start to build a new reality with a new sense of self and possibly new ideals, beliefs and values. Bridges rightly points out that trying to start anew without doing the hard yards of endings and neutrality is a futile exercise that will only lead to more frustration in the long term. It’s like the person who jumps from relationship to relationship without stopping in-between to reassess why the same patterns keep occurring. But when the hard work is done, you can enter a new phase of life with energy and vigour.

I highly recommend this book.