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Do you love your clients? Most of us like or love most of our clients. And most of us have or have had clients that maybe we don’t love so much. Maybe we like them or maybe we just tolerate them. And that’s OK, that’s normal.
And most of us do this work, this work of coaching, the passion path we’ve chosen because we want to do transformative work. We truly, genuinely want to impact our clients’ lives for the better. And we do that not by helping them solve the issue de jour, or providing them with tools or frameworks. We do it by creating and holding the generative space that allows them to bring their shadow into the light. And that truly only happens in the context of a loving container.
So loving our clients, truly genuinely loving our clients at the essence of their being, matters. And we know this.
So what keeps us from loving, truly loving our clients?
Bring to mind a client you have had that you just didn’t love. We all have them. Maybe we liked them alright, and we didn’t fully love them. Or maybe we just tolerated them. What was it that we didn’t love?
Maybe they stayed at the surface. Maybe they didn’t appreciate our coaching. Maybe we found some aspect of them hard to take, their personality, their triggers, their habits, the way they did or didn’t engage with the coaching or with us. There can be many reasons why we don’t fully, completely love our clients.
And I’ll state what we already know.
Our clients are our mirrors. Our not loving them isn’t about them. What we don’t love, don’t like, can’t tolerate in our clients is a reflection of what we don’t love, don’t like, and can’t tolerate within ourselves.Our clients are our mirrors. Our not loving them isn’t about them. What we don’t love, don’t like, can’t tolerate in our clients is a reflection of what we don’t love, don’t like, and can’t tolerate within ourselves. Click To Tweet
Of course, it’s easier to love some clients than others. The happy, open, curious ones are easy to love. And the ones that are negative, closed and judging are more challenging to love. And not everyone needs to be our client.
I’ll make a bold statement.
If we can’t find a place in ourselves that sees, accepts, and loves the essence of our clients, perhaps we ought not to be coaching them.
How would you like to be working with a coach who didn’t love you, who didn’t see the best in you, who didn’t acknowledge your light and embrace your shadow? We grow and thrive and find the courage to face our shadow in the space of love.
There is a quote by Rumi:
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” …
That is the task for all us humans and it’s professional development for us coaches. To seek and find the barriers within ourselves to fully loving our clients and ourselves. So that we can create and hold the loving space for them in which transformation can occur.
So how do we do that? How do we seek and find our barriers to love? So that we can love our clients more and do more transformative work?
As you might imagine, it starts by turning inward and turning toward the parts of ourselves we might want to turn away from.
There are many ways to do this. And we all know many of them.
Meditation – Meditation can both connect us with our own divine essence and facilitate our awareness of ourselves. And metta meditation or lovingkindness meditation can support us in loving ourselves and others more fully.
Journaling – Journaling reflectively and curiously on our inner experiences can help tease out what it is about us that is causing us to react to people and situations the way we do.
Breathwork – There are many types of breathwork. Many types such as holotropic breathwork, have the ability to evoke psychedelic, non-ordinary states of consciousness, without psychedelics. They also provide a door into our divine and can allow us to see parts of ourselves that we would otherwise be resistant to seeing.
Therapy – There are many types of therapy. The ultimate goal of most therapy is to support us in integrating the disparate parts of ourselves.
EQ Profile – Learning in Action created the EQ Profile to allow us to see the barriers that we have built against love. It reveals how we’ve learned to defend and protect our small self in ways that no longer serve us.
Learning in Action is committed to healing the divide. Healing what divides us from our divine essence. Free us from our barriers to love. So that we can heal the divide between us and as coaches, help heal the divide within our clients.