Doorknob Comments

(1 min read)

Ever notice when talking to someone the most important things come out right when you’re starting to leave, often right when one of you has your hand on the doorknob.

“Oh, I almost forgot… One last thing…”

It’s as if the mind, when placed under pressure, queries one’s entire Rolodex of life issues to land on what’s most important. It’s a time to be sentimental, to be brutally honest and vulnerable, perhaps because escape is at hand. No matter what is said, the safety of the car ride home is on the other side of the door. In some ways, this situational imperative to speak one’s heart is more powerful than any counseling technique.

In my coaching with clients, I can always see a doorknob comment coming because it’s camouflaged in caveats:

“I probably shouldn’t say this… Maybe I’m off topic here… This is is sort of a silly thing to mention… I doubt this is something you can help me with but…”

Oh yes. Bring it on.

Doorknob comments are the shortcut to the Holy Grail, the freeway overpass arching over the honking traffic down below and dropping you right at the entrance to the bridge.

If someone ever turns to you while their hand is on the doorknob, drop everything and listen up because the good stuff is coming. You’re about to find out the reason the both of you are there. You’re about to be lifted up and over the noise.

Someone who trusts you is about to share their heart. That’s worth being late for. That’s worth some awkwardness.

That’s worth a lot.