When things go badly awry, people often go into a state of denial or shock, or feel overwhelmed. Emotions can fly. Understandably, people feel out of control because the situations they find themselves in are not welcome; they are hugely disappointed by the outcome. In this section, I look at how to move at an appropriate speed instead of pretending that everything's fine, when it clearly it's not.
When disappointments come along, not only are they painful in their own right, but also they can connect with other tough situations in the client's past, setting up a chain reaction. Some seemingly minor incident can trigger an unexpectedly strong response. When a business client loses a customer, the experience may unconsciously connect with a deeper, unresolved loss. Similarly, when a private client fails a job interview, the experience can trigger feelings associated with situations of failure and rejection in other non-work areas.
Coaches work with clients through lows as well as highs – when they're under huge pressure, not coping too well, on the point of burn-out, highly stressed or when their confidence has taken a knock.
Ideally, you get the chance to work with clients before disappointments happen. That way, you can support them to build up the safety mechanisms and structures to manage challenging situations ...