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5 Ways to Love Our Clients and Do More Transformative Work

February 9, 2021

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. (more…)

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Posted in: Coaching|Relational Intelligence (RQ)

Using the RAIN Method to Support Mindful Relationships

July 9, 2020

Our relationships are perhaps the single most important aspect of our lives. Yet many of us still find it challenging to heal severed or damaged relationships and maintain strong connections. Being mindful in relationships is the work of bringing presence and acceptance and conscious awareness to the most difficult aspects of our relationships to begin to heal the relational divides with ourselves and others.  

Being mindful in relationships is the work of bringing presence and acceptance and conscious awareness to the most difficult aspects of our relationships to begin to heal the relational divides with ourselves and others. Click To Tweet

One means to support ourselves in having mindful relationships is the RAIN method — a mindfulness process to use when triggered or when experiencing intense or difficult emotions.   We can use the practice of RAIN to awaken us from our reactivity and our non-conscious, habituated patterns to be more mindful, particularly in relationships.


What Is the RAIN Method?

The RAIN method was introduced 20 years ago by Vipassana teacher Michele McDonald and has built upon by Buddhist meditation teacher, Tara Brach. In the context of our connection with others, RAIN is a very specific way of giving ourselves what we need to feel accepted, appreciated and loved so that we can give them to others. (more…)

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Posted in: Mindfulness & Meditation|Relational Intelligence (RQ)

The Power of Acknowledgment (Part 2)

February 23, 2018

In our last post, we talked about what an acknowledgement is, why it’s important, and what makes it hard. If you missed our last post, you can find it here.

Part of what’s made acknowledging someone difficult for me in the past has been knowing what to say. I’d be able to notice the opportunity to acknowledge, and then I’d get all stuck in my head about what to say and how to say it.

That’s why we created this quick and easy ‘how to acknowledge primer’ for anyone who wants to build better relationships and get better at acknowledging, but isn’t sure how.

First, a bit of clarification.

What’s the difference between an Acknowledgement, a Compliment and Positive Feedback?

Good question. All of these terms can sound the same, and the nuanced differences between them are important. A compliment, while positive, is often nonspecific, and can easily contain an implicit judgment.

For example, if I say, “You did that well,” I’m making a nonspecific comment and a subtle judgment. I’m judging that you did something well. And while a compliment is better than a sharp stick in the eye (😊), it falls short of acknowledgment. (more…)

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Posted in: Relational Intelligence (RQ)

The Power of Acknowledgment (Part 1)

February 8, 2018

You work so hard for your clients. You generously share yourself with them. You deeply and genuinely care for them. And you courageously and exhaustively work on developing yourself so you can be better for them.

That was an acknowledgment. It’s powerful stuff, right? It feels amazing. And it feels amazing because it feels true. Acknowledgment is a potent ally in coaching.

What is an Acknowledgment?

An acknowledgment is an affirming statement of who the client is being and/or what they are doing in that moment. It notices, mirrors and anchors the best in the client, reinforcing who and how the client wants to be. The acknowledgment feels true both to the giver and to the receiver.  And it’s delivered as a statement of fact.

An acknowledgment isn’t the same as positive feedback. Positive feedback is an evaluation of one’s performance, with an agenda to improve it. And while that has a place in the working world, acknowledgment is a better coaching tool because it takes the coach’s judgment out of it. The coach isn’t evaluating who or how the client is being.  They are simply seeing the client being their best and saying what they see.

For a coach, an acknowledgment is a way of saying to the client “I see you.  I see you being who you want to be. You are doing it now!  Look at you!”  (In the Zulu tribe, this is the way they greet each other – “Sawubona” – translated, “we see you”.  It’s a form of deep witnessing and presence.)

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Posted in: Coaching|Relational Intelligence (RQ)