Lost In Moscow, A Metaphor For Coaching

How being lost in Moscow is a perfect metaphor for coaching.


In the ’80s, my father travelled to the USSR on business. One evening a local associate took him to an ice-hockey game. After the match, my dad and his colleague got separated. He did not speak Russian, could not read the alphabet, and did not know the name of his hotel. He found himself lost on the underground, in a sea of people he didn’t understand and felt scared, alone and with no idea how to get to his destination.

I find this to be the perfect metaphor for many of my clients. They already know they want to be somewhere different, but don’t know what the destination is, or how to get there. They realise their current knowledge and understanding is not going to get them where they want to go, and they feel confused, fearful and alone.

This is where I come in. I help my clients get clear on where they want to be. That alone is a game-changer.

I then help them to create certainty by breaking the journey down into manageable steps. I help them see where their current beliefs and habits are holding them back and help them to develop a new mindset. A mindset that is perfect for their new mission and I support them with their fear.

My dad got home in the end, but it could have been quicker, easier and more fun.

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I have learnt to recognise opportunities to step beyond my comfort zone in the pursuit of things that bring me true fulfilment – it was a small tweak that has ended up making a significant difference. We now speak on a regular basis and Simon has become the voice which says “you can do this”.

Keith Banwaitt