Here is a kind of anti-case story - what happens when someone doesn't know what to do when confronted with a person who is "stuck in the past" - following an old guiding star event, that was so powerful and so wonderful, that the person in question will do anything to try and re-live it (which of course is impossible as no event can ever be repeated).
In this example, Gordon Ramsay did his best, but he did end up traumatizing the owner of the guiding star even more, which need not have happened. Here's the story.
Last night I saw the first episode of Gordon Ramsay's "Kitchen Nightmares USA", 2010 season, involving a restaurant owned by a family consisting of an elderly mother and father and their grown up daughter.
When I first saw the restaurant, I thought it was stuck in the 70s with palm tree decorations, pineapple shaped lights, stuffed aligator in the corner, trying to be a tropical beach thing.
It was instantly clear that the owner of the guiding star which held that all in place was the 70 year old mother of the family; and as I saw more and heard more, ten minutes into the program, I revised my estimation of the causative event echoing here in 2010 still to the late 1950s and a holiday in Cuba.
Now Gordon Ramsay is no fool and he knows people; he too could see that the old lady was "stuck in the past" but obviously he doesn't really know how to tackle that other than like a bull in the china shop and hope for the best.
So he made a big bonfire and threw all the beach chairs, the stuffed crocodile, the palm fronds and the coconuts and pineapples on it and set it on fire.
The old lady was totally distraught.
As anyone would be whose guiding star is being burned in front of her eyes.
As a result, she hated the new decor; was really difficult; and even though she eventually knuckled under to the pressure from everyone and the clear proof of the ringing cash till, you could see and feel that this wasn't properly resolved and that she wasn't "dancing into a bright new future for herself and her family with joy in her heart".
If Gorden Ramsay had known the ins and outs of EvP, he could have simply sat down with her and could have firstly elicited, and then evolved the Havanna guiding star in a few well chosen words and sentences.
He could have consulted with her how to spread the joy that SHE felt back then to the customers HERE NOW, which was the purpose and part of the mission, and what it was that made her so happy in that restaurant way back in time and space, and how to bring that forward into the now, and how and where to look for more of the same or EVEN BETTER.
If guiding stars are elicited and honoured, it is so incredibly easy to move them on, even conversationally, and the person is going to be so much the better for it, it's difficult to describe just HOW MUCH BETTER.
As it stands, there's the additional and very real trauma of the burning of the guiding star now; there is the loss of hope that things could ever be that good again; there is an injury and a negative evolution - a movement towards more chaos, entropy - taking place in her energy system which does not bode well for an old woman who undoubtedly has already health challenges and fault lines waiting to be activated and become acute.
It's really something to be able to see the set up of that whole family restaurant affair at a glance and to know where the leverage point lies EXACTLY - with whom, and inside that one person, where EXACTLY in time and space that moment is that is the leverage for the entire system comprising the woman, the husband, the daughter, the three chefs, the serving wenches, the thousands upon thousands of customers, the greater community beyond ...
Events Psychology for businesses is SUCH an opportunity, I can't begin to overestimate it.
And beyond the bottom line, there is the opportunity to have people move on without literally burning them as sadly, happened in this case.
First published in VIP, February 19th, 2010