Expectation with an ‘s’. It’s not the same thing

There’s expectation. Then there’s expectation with an ‘s’. It’s not the same thing.

The inquiry call and intake session were, it seemed, full of expectation on both sides of the potential new coaching client equation. We were eager to chart a course.

Nothing unusual, except being approached (again) with a life coaching request for counseling issues.

There are distinct differences between approaches to life coaching and counseling. They are not the same. At all. Which is why I suggested on the inquiry call that they read both pages on nancybentz.com before we met.

They didn’t.

However, because I offer a two-hour discounted intake session with no further obligation, I didn’t know that for the first 90 minutes – largely structured around viable coaching issues they introduced at the beginning. They engaged well, and I was impressed with watching their quick mind and processing style with a coaching tool used to aid us with a starting point.

I thought I had a winner winner, chicken dinner on my hands.

What I did have was a counseling-appropriate potential client who carried in expectation with an ‘s’. It’s not the same thing as expectation. I was soon pegged as ‘just like the others’ who had not met their expectations in a particular area. The problem (which about the 90-minute mark soon became apparent) was that the very thing they said was their biggest issue, was the very thing to which I – and previous ones they told of in their sharing – had begun to speak. It went downhill from there as they resisted that which they said they knew they needed and wanted.

It saddened me in that it was not a mid-life or older person, but a young adult. I knew I could help them and that my help would be offered differently from their presupposed expectation with an ‘s’. It’s not the same thing, expectation and expectations. That’s why it can grieve ones in a helping profession.

We ended the intake session on a somewhat congenial note. There was a sense of comfortableness with each other…except for the surface expectation with an ‘s’. For being neither a coaching session nor a counseling appointment, the intake did what it is designed to do: help us determine if we were a ‘fit’.

We weren’t, according to them.

They chose otherwise.

At such times (thankfully, few) I’ve learned to step back and look at the bigger picture. Ask a few questions of myself and take note of some things I might do or say differently next time. (Does anyone else think of just the right question to ask after hanging up the phone, sending the email, or showing someone out the door??).

Ultimately, such occasions are a two-way street. I carry my part, and it is left for them to carry theirs. I would have welcomed walking alongside awhile to help them unload their burden, find solutions and chart a course forward. However, I meant what I told them – “I am not the only one in town that can help you.”

That plays opposite what we are advised of best practices in marketing, but it is the truth. I hope this individual can find someone whom they will trust enough to move beyond the ‘Christianese’ they said they were ‘hearing’.

I won’t apologize for telling a person, client or otherwise, that God loves them so very, very much.

It’s truth we all need to hear, deflective hearts and receptive hearts alike. I’m here if you’d like to hear.

~ Nancy

Photo Credit: Pixabay free image w/PicMonkey enhancement

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