Naturally, it’s important for clients to feel that you “get” them. But among the most important things for you to get are the serious binds and traumas that they experience. When a client mentions something that is profoundly important such as that, you should draw upon your life experience and flash a sign of recognition that shows your client that it registered and that you are not judging them or becoming defensive in some way.
First, you must be on the lookout for these profound disclosures. Many times, a client will mention something without an emotional emphasis. Still, they are likely to look to see how you respond. If you missed the content, that look should signal you to tune into the profundity of what they just revealed. When you notice a profound disclosure, here are some excellent ingredients for your response:
1) Inhale while slightly extending your upper back and tilting your head up with your mouth part way open and eye brows slightly lifted.
2) Exhale fully. When half way exhaled, acknowledge this in a way that conveys an, “oh that…” quality.
“With years lost, right?”
(slightly shaking head) “It’s just scary how many people are going through this now.”
or my favorite:
“Isn’t that some-thing?”
You don’t want to be dishonest, of course. If you really don’t know what the experience is about, convey how important it is to you to know more about what it involves and what impact it has had. Either way, you’ll probably need to be learning more about what the experience means to your client, as in how it colors their challenges of today.