I shared a pork burrito (love this place) with my first guinea pig client (insert twisted, meaty metaphor) this afternoon. Before our appointment, I did myself the favor of filling out my own questionnaire for potential coachees. Woof. I was at Thorough Bread, working through my oatmeal cookie, madly scribbling new content, and making global ‘no-way-Jose’ marks over several questions in a row. The questions, while good, weren’t really on topic. And that’s a problem for me. Imagine you came asking me for advice on how to change a light bulb, and I fire back a series of questions about solar panels. Invariably linked? You betcha. Off topic? Mmmmmmm, yeah. This is a great ‘oh crap’ moment. Thankfully I haven’t rolled this project out for paying clients yet.
But it gets worse. I power down the demi-burrito, and pull out the paperwork for this session. As I’m ticking off the questions, I start skipping EVEN MORE of them. They just don’t matter like I thought they would. What matters is what my friend has to say about her cooking needs. What matters is how she feels about food. What matters is why she might want to invite me to stand beside her in her kitchen. There weren’t questions designed to capture that kind of ‘high-touch’, personal narrative. A good conversation yielded more valuable information than this ‘entrance exam’. My friends, this is a blessing.
On the flipside, we did roll over to the fresh market and get some great looking vegetables for her True Blood Sunday gathering. And she did learn a couple of techniques as we pulled the corn / tomato / basil / chevre salad together. I’m much more of a hands-on teacher at this point, so cooking with her put me in a comfortable place. Of course, just spending time cooking with friends is almost always enjoyable. Even more so if I weren’t on the wagon just right now? Perhaps –
We’ll be cooking together later this week (pot roast dinner!) and there will be some good learning moments for both of us. Meanwhile I have two more volunteers for Wednesday afternoon. Hang in there. After today’s intake interview meltdown, I have a lot to chew on.
As my euphonium instructor used to remind me ‘it’s okay to make mistakes, just don’t make the same one twice, and you’ll get much better’. Thanks Dr. Davis. I haven’t forgotten that recipe for improvement, and I’m working it harder now than ever.
Tootles and Noodles –