As I walked down the sea front in Marbella last night, I heard some raucous tunes pulsing from an otherwise sedate-looking bodega. 

Tortured diners yelled at each other across their tables as some hapless crooner inflicted karaoke versions of 80s funk at ear-splitting volumes.

Potential customers hurried past the entrance, and those already inside gobbled down their comida and ran like the wind to escape the relentless “entertainer”.

The guy behind the mic spoke not one word to his audience, and spent most of his “performance” head-down reading lyrics of his iPad.

Verdict: Disaster. 

50 metres down the road, a similar-sized bar was buzzing, luxuriating in a virtuoso performance from a single acoustic guitarist, singing his own versions of some well-known popular hits.

In between, he’d take requests, addressing punters to ask their names and thank them for being there and appreciating his craft.

A lovely ambience, and a place you’d want to go back, again and again.

Verdict: Sublime. 

The differences:

Engagement vs disinterest
Empathy vs not caring at all
Giving what the audience wants vs what the performer wants
Skill and expertise vs incompetence and mediocrity
Commercial understanding vs crass stupidity

Which side of those divides should you place your 21st century coaching or therapy offerings? 


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