In this guest post, Certified Go-Giver Coach and Therapist, Teri Bach shares with us why we should never let being “professional” stand in the way of effective communication. After all, what is truly professional is… to communicate effectively.
Enjoy Teri’s post! – Bob Burg
My favorite of the 5 Laws of Stratospheric Success in The Go-Giver is Law #4 – The Law of Authenticity:
The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.
When I began my private practice as a therapist 23 years ago, I wasn’t comfortable using the language of the professional psychotherapist. It always felt arrogant to me; used only to impress upon others that we are smart people. It seemed to keep a wall up between the client and the therapist. In retrospect, that may have been the point.
I have chosen, for most of my career, to talk with my clients in my normal language. I don’t want to impress them; I want to help them. Sometimes my sessions may look like two friends chatting. I have found that to be more effective and it is certainly much more of who I am.
I had a fairly new client say to me after one of our sessions recently:
I feel very comfortable with you and it’s easy to open up to you. You don’t sound like a professional.
After I swallowed hard, I realized she wasn’t criticizing me; in fact, she was paying me the highest compliment she could. She was telling me that she could feel my genuineness in the session and it allowed her to trust me enough to open up.
The Law of Authenticity has given me permission to be myself and not try to be like others. I could have chosen to follow in the footsteps of many of the therapists I know. I struggled with that at the beginning of my career because I also wanted to fit in with my colleagues. But what I have found is that by choosing to be me instead, I am much happier and fulfilled. After all, that is what helps my clients.
And that’s really what it’s all about.