George S. Ledyard wrote:
Pema Chodren wrote about this in one of her books. She commented that it is quite typical. The student first comes in and starts training (in her case it is in Tibetan Buddhism) and is overjoyed. "This is the best thing ever. Training is changing my life" etc. But after some period of time that student will come to her and say that meditation isn't doing it for them like it was, that they have issues with her that they have discovered, any number of complaints. Often it is at this stage that they quit. She tried to get them to understand that it is precisely this point that they have been proceeding towards and now their real training can commence.
I have found this to be quite true over the years. Most people who start Aikido never really get off the ground, they are gone almost before they are there. But of the ones that stay after the initial startup period, the next big crisis point is around 3rd or 2nd kyu. That's when the first realization starts to take hold that if they stay, they are going to change. And most people do not really want to change. So various dissatisfactions are discovered where there were none previously. Something about the practice is lacking, something about the teacher is now disappointing, suddenly work is too demanding, the spouse seems less supportive... whatever.
This has reminded me of a totally not MA related managemen/personnel development course I did some time ago called "Situational Leadership".
Apparently the leader/teacher should adjust their leadership or teaching style to suit the development stage of the person.
The 4 stages are:
D1 - Enthusiastic beginner - has little knowledge or experience of the task but has loads of energy and enthusiasm. Optimistic.
D2 - Disillusioned learner - Frustrated, Demotivated, flashes of competance
D3 - Capable but cautious contributor - med-high competance but doubts self from time to time. Can be apathetic.
D4 - Self Reliant Achiever - Justifiably confident, self-assured, inspires others, autonomous.
People can oscillate between these stages too, but the idea is to adapt your coaching style to suit the stage of the person:
S1 - Give very specific instructions and plenty of feedback.
S2 - Coaching. Praising. Explaining and encourage/guide person to come up with the solutions themselves.
S3 - BE supportive, reassure, collaborate with them. Help them to solve problems for themselves.
S4 - Just let them get on with it, but acknowledge their achievements and provide them with challenges.
Just a curious parallel.