(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)


When you say someone “lied” it s not a compliment. A liar is ranked right along with a thief and a cheat. People who tell lies are people you don t want to hang around.

The word “lie” has a special, cultural meaning which includes emotion, reaction, and usually, judging. The judging is the tip-off for access to this distinction.

Try saying this, “The President lied.” Did your emotions flair? That s the emotional reaction which typically accompanies the word “lie.”

The word “lie” has another connotation for coaches.

A coach s role is to help people see the truth about themselves and their actions and their outcomes. In other words, coaches assist people to become aware.

Anything a client is telling himself or herself that is not accurate is a lie. But from a coach there is no judging of the person. There is no emotional reaction. It s an observation, pure and simple. [It can take years of personal development for the coach to reach this level of emotional clarity and detachment, but it is essential for powerful coaching.]

You might want to practice seeing the truth — being aware — without judging any lie. When you do, you will be a big step toward not taking anything personally.

[By the way, which President were you thinking about in the example listed above? Your s or “their s”? Ah yes, judging lies is tricky, is it not?]


Copyright 2004 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.