Yesterday I received an interesting comment to my LinkedIn post. Someone pointed out how I almost never mention specific people on this blog. Of course there are confidentiality reasons for this, but even if there were not I think that the point of context is worth making.
A great example came last year. I wrote this post about Carson Palmer telling the story of where he basically said “I’m done here in Cincinnati. We have tried many things, but the formula with me here is not working. Either I retire, or I play somewhere else, but my career here is over.” After making this statement, he subsequently got traded and both he and the team he left have gone on to their most successful years ever, the split was truly best for everybody. The same day of that post, I had three different people write to me telling me how perfect reading that post was for them at that moment in time. One decided to leave their band, one decided to leave a romantic relationship, and one terminated a relationship with a client.
Content is things in the story like for which team a person is playing. Context is the thing behind it which often holds us back. Coaching is about finding the context and dealing with that, because dealing with the context is what permanently breaks down walls. This is why coaching makes for large, permanent changes. Unfortunately, we do not often see the context ourselves, this is why working with a coach can do so much to change your life. Also as luck would have it, people often have the same context as other people. The situations are always different, but the context is often the same.
It turns out almost all my posts are inspired by someone else specific. Something that I hear or see someone else going through leads to my writing, of course respecting confidentiality to the fullest. What I learned over time is that the context of one person will definitely be the context of many other people, so phrasing what I see in terms of context can mean a lot to many other people.
Identify context and your life will change. You are never alone in how you are feeling. The details are unique but the context never is.