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The Prison of our Thoughts - The Power of Allegory


"Antonio" is a rising star in the high tech industry. He's got an excellent salary along with all the material markers of success - a beautiful office and flat in suburban Paris....the last person you'd imagine "in prison". I started coaching this young expat 6 months ago at the request of the CEO.

It didn't take me long to find out why.


On paper, my client's performance was impressive. In the office, however, his behavior was a real issue. According to Antonio, his immediate supervisor never supported him or defended his ideas. Meetings, held virtually or in the board room, invariably ended in anger and accusations.


People started sending him short emails rather than risk an explosive face to face encounter. Antonio found his coworkers "incompetent" or "lazy".


He continually complained of exhaustion from "having to do everyone else's work".


Fortunately, I was never the direct recipient of his wrath. It took me a couple of months to gain his trust but gradually he began to open up about his anger with everyone at the company.


Although he repeatedly told me that "feelings" had no business at the workplace, I encouraged him to be honest with me about his anger, frustration and distrust of his coworkers.


Upon the advice of another coach, I tried the "Judge Your Neighbor" worksheet - the signature work of the amazing Bryon Katie. Antonio gleefully put pen to paper to describe his boss as a "total jerk" who was "completely not to be trusted".


"Wow! That sounds tough! Are you saying that your boss can never, ever be t