"The path is clear. No more excuses for my anger. No more
fuming and scheming to get even. Every area of my life has improved,
thank you Terri." Steve, F Edmonton
Steve is a 57 year old divorced tradesman, with two grown sons. He
has had his own successful company for most of his adult life. After completing
his ticket, he bought into a company, turned it around and eventually became
the owner. While he has some excellent business acumen he lacked the skills to
manage his employees well. He often became angry and frustrated with his staff, especially
with apprentices who rarely met his high standards. His method of dealing with
people was often abrasive, rude and demeaning.
Steve was brought up by a single father who had high expectations
of his three sons. A widow, his father often felt overwhelmed with the responsibility
of raising his sons while managing a small business. Steve did not see his
father as an alcoholic but acknowledged that his father used alcohol to manage
stress. During his binges he was emotionally abusive and on occasion used
physical punishment. Steve, the oldest child in the family, was often the brunt
of his fathers’ rages.
Despite his childhood experience, Steve has great respect for his
fathers’ intention to raise “hardworking men.” His relationship with his father has improved
over the years but Steve was clear that he was repeating a dysfunctional pattern.
He was clearly frustrated but also embarrassed by his behavior at work. He was
concerned that he was developing a reputation in his industry of being a
difficult man to work for.
When Steve asked for support his main goal was to develop
healthier interactions at work. Like many others who consider this work Steve
was hoping for a quick fix. He initially refused the idea of success planning
and hung up during the initial telephone consultation. After two apprentices
requested new placement he called again to inquire about services. Steve again
became irritated with program requirements and left the consultation call
prematurely. One year later, after several incidents with his grown sons that
resulted in them refusing to speak with him, Steve again requested support. This
time he was ready to work.
Steve worked hard over the next several months, although on several occasions,
he did quit, feeling angry with his lack of progress. However, he always
returned to the process, with new insights and a renewed determination to improve.
Despite his frustration, each time he disengaged, he found that he was using
strategies that were slowly and incrementally improving how he managed work and
As indicated above, today Steve believes that he has “broken the
cycle” and feels that every area of his life has improved. While his initial
goal centred around healthier interactions at work, the progress he is most
proud of his improved relationship with his grown children.