How to Work With Defensive ClientsOne of the toughest and most consistent challenges CHEK Professionals face with their clients is how to work with their defensiveness.

Because everyone is defensive about something.

But defensiveness doesn’t have to be an insurmountable obstacle to change as CHEK Faculty Member Jator Pierreย points out in our discussion for the CHEK Blog.

The first thing to remember when you’re working with a client who throws up that wall is to remember – again – that everyone gets defensive about something – even you. So have compassion for them!

Second, know that our clients will model our behavior.

โ€œIf I show up being defensive as a coach, Iโ€™m modeling that same behavior to my clients,โ€ Jator says. โ€œIf I show up less defensive as a coach, Iโ€™m modeling a very different behavior. Thereโ€™s a lot of learning that comes through modeling. In fact, modeling is a huge way people learn.โ€

Often, clients express defensiveness out of need to control their environment. Thatโ€™s why it takes a lot of empathy and understanding on your part to build a better sense of connection and trust with your clients.

Building strong attachments with clients means you donโ€™t have to control them. If the lines of communication and empathy are wide open on both ends, you can provide gentle direction by giving your clients options (rather than orders) that give them the freedom to choose where they want to go. That avoids a power struggle between you and your client and, no matter which choice they make, they’re working on something that is going to change them for the better.

Learn why a collaborative model creates a sense of autonomy on the part of a client and provides a roadmap for you to help him/her get where they want to go in my latest talk with Jator on the CHEK Blog.


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