It’s better for clients to be mad at you than to be mad at themselves.
The space of self-attack is never conducive to growth or transformation.
When clients are angry, especially with me, I ask them to tell me all about it.
While they tell me, I do my best to listen without doing anything about it.
I resist the temptation to express or even think thoughts that defend or protect or explain myself.
This is not about me.
When I’m able to show up like this, the healing that’s possible is profound.
When have we been listened to in this way?
When have we been allowed, invited, welcomed, to say the hardest things, directly to the person we’re feeling them about?
When has our rage been embraced with sincerity and love?
These instances open doorways for immediate transformation.
Some concrete strategies for questions in a conversation like this:
- Ask questions that clarify, synthesize, or simplify what’s being shared.
- Can you tell me more about…?
- Keep your questions simple.
- Is it true that…?
- Help them reconnect to their vision and what they deeply desire.
- What do you want to be different?
- Ask them about what shifted.
- What happened, exactly, that changed your state of mind or being?
- Ask hypothetical questions that help them better understand what they truly desire:
- If you had [insert the thing they think they need now in order to move forward with their vision, whether it’s approval, money, time, a partner, etc.], what would you do?
- What is your fantasy of what I will say to you today?
- How do you want our conversation today to end? What do you want the result to be?
Watch the full video for my complete teaching on how to approach clients when they’re angry at you.