Pain, Desire and Safety

Posted by on Jan 17, 2015 in Safety, Transformation | 5 Comments

In a conversation last night with Pascal Pinck I talked about the mentoring offer I’m working on. I mentioned the pattern of serendipitous conversations where change actually happens. His summary blew me away: “Oh, you mean, change happens when pain, desire and safety meet?”

Yes. That is true.

Change may happen when Pain and Desire meet Safety.


1-800-GET-SAFETY (by Pascal Pinck)

Safety on Demand

Nice concept: Remote mentoring is safety on demand. I talked to a potential client yesterday and he loved the on-demand help I was offering. For big changes, the setup and budgeting and planning and waiting is ok. For small to medium and urgent changes, the waiting is not ok. Having a number to call to get external help, an external perspective, guidance, or advice, could be very helpful and minimise risk.

The different kinds of help we discussed made me think about what’s really essential. Essential for this remote support to be valuable and essential for this service to be unique, to become my own. I noticed there’s more to it than just safety, and expertise.

I pay exquisite attention.

Attention on Demand

I will relabel my mentoring offer. From now on it’s called Exquisite Attention.

The reasoning is two-fold:

  • It just states exactly what I offer, no more or less. It gives you the choice how you want to use my attention. Attention has no presupposition that I know something you don’t, that I’m advanced in any way. It doesn’t presuppose that you need help. And it does give you the best possible context to ask for it. Attention is a non-dual concept.
  • Exquisite Attention is valuable, and potentially worth paying for. I can pay exquisite attention to a friend, and we can pay exquisite attention to one another. Attention is a gift economy concept.

Customer Development

Please help me developing this further by answering this question in a comment:

If I offered you Exquisite Attention, what would you use it for?




  1. Sarah
    January 17, 2015

    Here’s some ideas: how to encourage scrum masters who are growing tepid (reducing the need for continuous improvement); when to know that rituals aren’t servicing your team; how to help others feel heard and understood; how to build trust with a new team member; how to build team communication and trust on a distributed, multi-national team. 🙂

  2. Sarah
    January 17, 2015

    I mean I would want advice and shared experiences regarding the above growing pains , with the exquisite attention ^

  3. Marjoke
    January 24, 2015

    Well, you’ve already been giving me exquisite attention. Apparently. 😀 I’m still not sure how you did it, but you seemed to have understood me, just from a few chats and told me exactly that one thing that made me feel good about asking for help, without losing my self-esteem. (And the second winning is, that now I know that the fear of losing my self-esteem is the reason why it is so hard for me to ask for help…)
    But the question is: what would you use it for.
    I am a coach myself. Not officially, but that is what I do. Daily. Not by job, but by nature. And I want to be a better one every day.
    I would use your exquiisite attention to help me get more insights in moments where I’m lost with “my” people or myself. To be better equiped to help others and myself.

    • Olaf
      January 25, 2015

      Wow. Thank you!


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