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Part III: Seeking Solutions > Hypothetical Counseling Scenario #1 (Phillip Take...

Chapter 30. Hypothetical Counseling Scenario #1 (Phillip Takes Brent around the Four Bases)

First Base: Phillip has been concerned for weeks about Brent’s productivity gap. Brent, in comparison to previous months, has seemed listless and unwilling to work anywhere near his true potential. During a routine coffee break, Phillip (Brent’s supervisor) asks, “Brent, I get the feeling you have temporarily lost your enthusiasm around here. If I am wrong, please forgive my intruding. If I am right, is there anything I can do about it?” Phillip listens while Brent admits his lack of motivation and talks for five minutes about certain problems.
Second Base: “What do you think is the underlying problem, Brent?” asks Phillip. “Is the problem work-oriented?” Brent replies, “It’s hard for me to know. Perhaps it is because I just don’t see a future for me around here, or at least a future bright enough.” Phillip asks, “Could it be that you have lost sight of your previous goals? Your personal productivity was high your first year.” “Yeah, I guess that is it,” Brent says. The two of them discuss Brent’s previous goals and over a period of twenty minutes decide they are good goals and should be sufficiently powerful to motivate Brent.
Third Base: “May I offer a possible solution?” asks Phillip. “Sure,” replies Brent. “Well,” starts Phillip, “it seems we are on the wrong track. You have good goals, but we expect them to motivate you automatically. I don’t think it works that way. I think you expect someone else to motivate you in the direction of your goals, when this is your job. Self-motivation is the name of the game these days. All I can do is provide the best possible working environment. The motivation must come from inside you. Am I right?” Brent starts talking about how he seems to get his productivity up for a few days and then it all fades away. He states that he does not seem able to find himself. Brent discusses this and related thoughts for ten minutes.


Home Base: Phillip knows they have reached home base when Brent says, “You know, I’m glad we had this talk. I think it has caused me to refocus on my goals, and if you feel that my co-workers are providing their own motivation, then I am willing to see if I can do the same. Give me thirty days and let’s review what has happened.”



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