Untangle and grow

A blog by Alison Maxwell

Friday, 1 August 2014

Being 'triggered'

In an ideal world, we would all get on with our coaching clients, however, frankly, there are times when the 'chemistry' just doesn't work. Clearly, if this happens we shouldn't even consider taking on the relationship in the first place. Tough I know for those of us whose livelihood depends on billing coaching hours and it can be tempting to try to give life to a working relationship in the hope that it will come good. On the whole my advice is simple -- 'don't' - a poor relationship at the start is unlikely to get any better without major surgery.

However there are times in an established relationship when we can find ourselves strongly and negatively reacting to the client - I like the term 'triggered'. It is as if something in the relationship has shifted substantially. This may be as simple as a clash of values - the client holds a perspective that we can't , or it may be something more subtle or ill defined. At one level this may be useful data that is worth putting (sensitively) on the table for discussion, at another it may indicate we can no longer operate from an appropriately emotionally detached stance.

So if you suddenly find your self reacting to your client, or interpreting their words/deeds in a consistently negative light, it is probably time to take it to your coaching supervisor to sort out what exactly is going on.. and what you can do about it.

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