Posts Tagged ‘solar eclipse’

Ever have a resistant client? They want you to provide desired services but question and double-guess the recommendations and actions you make. Why would they behave that way? It has to do with the second function of myth, the Physical , also called the Cosmological. What it refers to is the beliefs (myths) one has as to how the world turns. In this case how the business world turns.

Cosmology, Clients, and Solar Eclipses

Having a cosmology is an important part of sense-making.  It provides a cause and effect framework for decisions. As long as it functions well there are eccentricities that will be accepted as “fact” when there really are just some coincidences in the system.

There’s a story about a cultural anthropologist who comes across a village right before a solar eclipse. The chief and village elders could not be distracted. They were preparing to save life itself. The anthropologist asked what was going on. The chief simply said, “Come and watch.”

As the moon began to creep in front of the sun the shaman began to direct the men of the village to beat the drums exactly as they had been taught – the way their fathers before them for many generations had done. As the eclipse progressed the drumming intensified and all the villagers were frozen in place wondering if the drumming would work this time. Eventually, the eclipse passed and the sun returned much to everyone’s relief.

The anthropologist felt it his duty to teach the villagers the rudiments of the Newtonian cosmology and explain how gravity worked along with drawing the orbits of the sun, the moon, and the earth. To his delight everyone listened intently and he left the village feeling proud.

He returned with the next eclipse and, much to his surprise, the drumming ritual was repeated. Exasperated he looked at the chief and said, “The theory I told you works!” The chief calmly looked at him and replied, “And if it doesn’t?”

Helping Clients Change

Bertrand Russell, the Nobel Prize winning 20th Century mathematician-philosopher, felt that cosmologies aren’t refuted they simply are abandoned. In other words, don’t argue with clients to put down their drums. Look for their hot buttons and pressure points. If there is enough pent up emotion over how their current methods aren’t working then they might consider the solution(s) you are offering. If not, then listen to their drumming and be patient.

I’ve learned it is important to let go of judging the client. Out at the edges everyone’s worldview starts to unravel. Maintaining a degree of humility is important in keeping a levelheaded approach.

If you need help in working through solar eclipses either in-house or with clients contact me at gwmonti@mac.com or visit www.ctrchg.com.