blog by Elisabeth
In coaching we talk a lot about creating an empowered relationship with our clients. A relationship that is energizing, safe and courageous that gives the client the courage to change their lives. A relationship where the client dares to open up and talk about themselves and what is going on inside. A relationship that gives energy and strength to take new steps and move forward toward their goals and dreams.
A coaching relationship is different from a, for example, the doctor / patient relationship or an attorney / client relationship. In the latter, the doctor or the lawyer is an expert and tells the patient or client what to do. We coaches believe that the client is the expert on her own life and that the coach and the client give energy to the relationship where the client benefits.
How do you create an energizing, safe and courageous relationship, and how can you use it as a therapist?
I have previously written that it is important to really listen to the client. I believe that all people yearn to be seen and listened to, and if you do listen to your client, it's one of the tools to create such a relationship. Another tool is to acknowledge your client. Acknowledge the client, not for what they do, but for how we see them.
Here is an example:
A direct report submits a project to his manager three days earlier than they agreed.
If the manager then says "Thank you, now we can see if we can improve anything and it gives me time to reflect a little more on the proposal. Good job!" that is not an acknowledgement of what the manager sees in its employee, but is based on himself and his needs.
If the manager instead says "Thank you, you're really focused, dedicated to your work and are responsible" this creates a relationship where the employee feels recognized and receive energy.
As a therapist,
- you can also make use of these tools by acknowledging your client with what qualities you see in them. And of course, coming from an authentic place, the client will feel immediately if you don’t.