The Issue is Never the Issue.

The Issue is Never the Issue.

Some 18 years ago my supervising Coach said ‘Paul, the issue the client comes to you with is never the issue’.

As it turns out, she was right and that tip has served me well time and time again, whether facing an individual human being, a Leadership or Project Team or, my own children.

Dig a little deeper. Read between the lines. Interrogate for understanding. Be quiet. Don’t interrupt thinking. Be patient.

It is far better to debate a question without answering it than to answer a question without debating it, somebody once said.

The fundamental crisis of our times is everyone is running around like lunatics scratching the surface of debate and understanding.

To get to the issue behind the issue is a function of time, space and rich conversation. Sadly, all three commodities are pushed to the side of management priorities in the break neck human society desire for instant results.

Interestingly, I’ve even discovered my own issues are not really the issue – once I’ve created space for sober periods of reflection, consideration and analysis.

There, right there is the answer. ‘Created space‘. We never ‘find time’ – we have to make it. Time and space to give the greatest gift of fellowship – a really good listening too.

In going beyond surface scratching I have found wonderful things, unexpected depths of treasure, in situations I previously never had the patience to explore.


Image Nishanth Jois

Paul Fox

Paul Fox has been active as a Construction Industry Performance Coach for the last 20 years and remains at the forefront of Collaborative Working and High Performance Team Behaviours. He disrupts the status quo of individuals, project and senior teams who want exponentially more output with much less struggle.

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