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I Don’t Need therapy, but Where do I Turn for Answers? 

124 Tips for Having
a Great Relationship
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124 Tips for Having
a Great Relationship

What is the Emperor Wearing? Truth-Telling in Business Relationships

Recovery from CoDependency: It’s Never too Late to Reclaim Your Childhood

An Action Plan for Your Inner Child: Parenting Each Other 



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Issue #23

"You Mean They Don't?!"
Laurie Weiss, Ph.D. 

“They never seem to get any work done on time, but they complain that they're being underutilized.” Jacob, a chiropractor, was talking about his office staff. “I have to do so many things myself that they could do for me, but they don't. They just don't seem care about what I want. I just don't understand. I pay them well and they need their jobs.”

As Jacob’s frustration increased, he explored the idea that he had hired inappropriate people in the first place. He reflected that if only he could find the proper leverage he thought he could make them do what he had hired them to do. Leverage to Jacob meant the proper combination of rewards and threats.

When I asked about what guidelines the staff was given to do their work Jacob admitted that he let them set up their own procedures with very little input from him. He communicated his expectations very vaguely, because he himself hated to be told what to do. Jacob thought if he was “nice” to them, they would like him and work hard to assure the success of the office.

Jacob only got angry when they didn't meet his admittedly non-specific performance expectations. When he got frustrated enough, he would insist that his rules be followed; telling his confused and demoralized staff exactly how to do what he expected. They were constantly seesawing between unclear expectations and over-detailed instructions that discounted their intelligence and experience.

Jacob argued when I suggested that he needed to create clear guidelines for his staff and then leave them alone to do their jobs. He was sure his staff would hate him and quit if he did that, and he firmly believed they would never get any work done without closer supervision. Jacob believed that everyone in the world hated structure as much as he did.

When I told him that most people need and want structured guidelines in order to feel safe and happy, Jacob was surprised. He explained how he had been forced to follow rules for most of his life and cherished his present freedom. He assumed that everybody else felt exactly the same way he did.

He experimented with the idea that some people felt nurtured by structure. Warily, he started telling his office manager only the outcomes he wanted including necessary completion times. The office manager competently communicated the work requirements, the staff happily met them, and Jacob was immensely relieved.

Coaching Tip: Most people believe that everyone sees the world exactly the same
way as they do. This is never true and often the source of much turmoil.

The e-Booklet, 124 Tips for Having a Great Relationship, is complete. You can download your copy immediately from HERE.

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Empowerment Systems When Change is the Challenge.

Jonathan B. Weiss, Ph.D., and Laurie Weiss, Ph.D., have helped thousands of people make significant changes in their lives. Working together at Empowerment Systems for 31 of their 43 years of marriage, they maintain a coaching, consulting, and psychotherapy practice in Littleton, Colorado, USA.

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