Rapt detachment


As a coach, I was trained to listen ‘on the edge of my seat’, wondering where the client was going to take the dialogue next.  I was taught to enter their world and understand it as fully as I possibly could.  However, I was also taught to listen with what I call ‘rapt detachment’, meaning that I am there with the client every step of the way, but I don’t get caught up in the drama.  There is a part of the brain that needs to remain empathetic to, but separate from the client’s world.  ‘Only care mildly’ is the phrase that sticks in my mind from a day spent with Shelle Rose Charvet, author of ‘Words that change minds’.

I am using the same technique while I wait for my exam results next week, like many other students around the country.  It’s very easy to turn that particular situation into a major drama, starring you and your future.  It’s very easy to fritter away hours on anxiety-inducing scenarios of ‘what if’.  It’s very easy to fast forward into two very different black and white movies. 

Whatever the result, I did what I was capable of doing at the time.  And although it can feel like a big deal at the time, it’s actually just a ‘sliding doors’ moment.  If a door shuts unexpectedly in your face, another one nearby will conveniently open right on cue.


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