Divorce brings out the worst in people and it also has the great potential of expanding your client’s capacity for dealing with challenging, and sometimes overwhelming, circumstances.
Fear drives the worst decisions in divorce: fear about the future, about making it alone, about losing the relationship safety net because others will choose between me or the other; and fear about the health and safety for the children, especially if there are dependent children living in the household.
All this fear makes your client especially reactive to normally benign situations, and their hot buttons are easily activated, causing tunnel-vision about the choices they have, resulting in emotional attachment to the ONLY solution they see. This causes the other person to dig in their heels and push back which sounds bigger alarms for your client. Someone must break this conflict cycle.
Are you the one to help your client pivot from fearful to at least reflective, so they can restore confidence in their ability to make the best possible decisions for themselves based on their needs for their future?
You may have a great deal of expertise as an advisor to your client. For just a few minutes, turn off the advising and use these simple actions to help your client switch their perspective so they can see different options and make different choices to get different results in their divorce.
Here is what your client needs:
- Someone to listen to them, without judgement and without saying what it is you think they want to hear. Your client is not fragile. They are competent and capable, and they may just need to feel as though they are being heard, and that their voice counts in this process.
- Ask them questions which allow them to explore their own thinking more deeply. Allow them to take time to reflect on what is most important to them and their family; to consider what they need as they move into the next chapter of their lives.
- Help them to recognize that they have control over their reactions, to their hot buttons which demand immediate knee-jerk reactions when pushed and invite them to focus on what they want instead of what they don’t want.
- Encourage them to breathe, to pause when their mind tells them they have to make a decision right now. Invite them to consider why the outcome they are insisting on and are emotionally attached to is important; to consider what needs that solution satisfies and explore with them other ways to satisfy those same needs.
As your client considers alternative ways to satisfy their needs, that are looking at a bigger picture, expanding the spotlight to include alternatives to that to which they were attached. By creating an opportunity to reflect, you allow them to discover other options. And they can now explore these options with you walking down the path with them, advising them about the benefits and pitfalls, helping them to make the best possible decisions for their future based on their new awareness of their needs and concerns.
Registration for the Divorce Coaching Intensive opens June 15.
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