October 28, 2022

Rocks in the swamp

Hi this is Chris Bekker speaking: 

Recently a coaching colleague shared a casewhere she was wondering what to do when a client just wants to talk and talk andtalk about a problem, what’s not working, and what’s not going well, why whywhy?

I have no hope, says your client. Nothingworks, says your client. Not only am I STUCK, but I am heavy heavy heavy andtired.

A client in a swamp.

A swamp is often muggy, it feels dark, wet,sluggish, slow and sometimes hopeless. Every now and then we all might findourselves a little bit stuck in our own swamps.

So what can we do, bring, remember, when weare sitting with a client who is seemingly in a swamp?

A few thoughts to consider.

What does the client need right now? Andyes we can ask them directly, e.g, Dear client what might be your hope from ourtime together, could be an example. Sometimes people are going through a toughtime and just need to talk, just get things out, just dump. To the listener,this might seem intense but for some people just talking through the swampalready gives enough impetus to move through or find their first rocks to steponto. Your client might need an audience, a witness to their being in theswamp. So it might be useful to offer an ear.  Dear client, as you are talking through this, howcould I best help? How might talking to me help or be useful?

Is your client standing in a swamp with asuitcase full of clothes, and they might need a process of unpacking. Liftingout each piece of clothing, lessening the overall weight, and systematicallyunderstanding what is most beneficial for them in this current situation. Thismight refer to their resources or just the number of issues they feel they arelugging around in their swamp.

How have they been coping, being in theswamp for so long, or in such a difficult swamp? Useful questions to startallowing a shift of perspective from stuck in the mud to little rocks. Littlepieces of solidness that might have been there all along, supporting yourclient, where they can stand and feel a little stronger.

And starting to feel those little rocks,finding some solid ground in a swamp might be the beginning of a verymeaningful step of change for your client.

If you have a story to share, somequestions to ask, please feel free to join us for our weekly coaching meet up.

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