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.