Esther takes a deep breath in an attempt to calm herself. A quick look at the clock confirms her client will be at the door in 10 minutes. She’d like to help this client, provide a listening ear. But there are so many worries running through her mind. It makes her restless. How can she offer a peaceful place to her client if she does not have it herself?
I am writing this blog in the midst of the Corona Crisis, which will hopefully pass soon. What we already know is that in the aftermath of this crisis, all dormant problems will be magnified, and there will be a great need for coaching and psychological help. Many clients will come to you with anxiety and stress-related complaints. As coaches and therapists, we must be prepared for this. But how can you help your client effectively when you may also be struggling with fear and uncertainty? In short: how do you become a top coach if you feel anxious or insecure yourself?
Rock in the tide
The role that coaches and therapists play is more important than ever. That makes sense, but it can also cause worries. Because you also have questions and concerns. You may have a fear of becoming ill yourself or have someone in your environment who is vulnerable. You may have or are in danger of having money problems. You may wonder how you can honestly ask for money during this time of crisis. All these questions are understandable and I warmly sympathize with you. These days I often speak to coaches or therapists about their fears and concerns during this Corona Crisis. Of course I am also worried during this period, but this doesn’t prevent me from helping my clients or students training to be coaches as well as I can.
Keep in touch with yourself
If all these things are on your mind, it can be difficult to maintain your own peace during a session with your client. Yet, even with your own insecurity that comes into play, you can be a rock for your client. How? This requires a bit of theoretical knowledge.
There are different ways to interact with your client during a session:
You feel in very close contact with your client. You can no longer feel the difference between the client’s feelings and what you feel. Your client may then no longer be able to make this distinction. This is often confusing for the client and sometimes makes the complaints worse. If you work with your clients in this way, you will be exhausted at the end of the day. Your nervous system simply can’t handle feeling all the stress from your clients.
You completely shut yourself off to your client, you are disconnected. As a result, you probably miss the signals from your client’s nervous system that you need to manage the session. Your client feels misunderstood and you become frustrated because you cannot really reach your client.
You and your client each keep their own space, but you as a coach are willing to let yourself be touched by your client. You stay well with yourself and at the same time you connect with the client. Because you let yourself be touched, the client really feels understood. Very often clients are looking for this method of connection, in which they can really make contact with the other and at the same time remain themselves.
Webinar with explanation
I recently held a webinar on this topic, in which I explained how you can help your clients effectively during these uncertain times even though you may be feeling insecure yourself. Because I sincerely wish every coach and therapist to master this way of working, I will be hosting this webinar several times in the future, in Dutch ánd English. Check this page for accurate dates.
Need a sounding board?
In the Corona Crisis, you are on pause for a moment and you have time to look at how you have structured your work and life as a coach or manager recently. Maybe now it is nice to see if you want to continue on the same path after this period or want to try a different course. During a free Strategic conversation, I help you work it out. Do you want to request a Strategic conversation? You can schedule it yourself via this link in my agenda at a time that suits you. I’d enjoy talking to you.