Let’s talk about the Connection theme of the Accidental Counsellor Training.
From weak connection to transformation through connecting to someone’s pain and suffering. What do I mean by this? Well, I believe that transformation does occur through a connection. Much more than fancy, smart questioning techniques. They’re important but I think as we talked about earlier people aren’t going to hold on to the fancy questioning techniques if they feel there is no connection.
Not many of us can admit that we have weak connection but the proofs in the eating as they say or in this case the results, I usually see one of two things. One, you don’t spend time on the person’s pain and upset because you may believe that you need to be positive to get them to be positive.The opposite is more the truth because if the person doesn’t believe you understand or you’re trying to understand where they are coming from, well then they don’t trust that you can be the person that can help.
The other thing that I see is that connecting to people’s pain and suffering takes its toll on you. As a result, you protect yourself from feeling drained and burned out. You’re racing to fix the problem, or to offer a solution to the problem because then they’re not in pain and that means you don’t have to experience their pain. When that happens we’re ignoring the person’s pain and suffering and this really doesn’t help them.
What happens then, from my experience is they become unresponsive and disengaged. Also, there’s this fear and doubt that you can actually understand their pain. There is resistance to your advice, suggestions, and solutions. There’s disconnection despite your efforts to help.
What we need to do is to match, mirror and pace them. This establishes rapport and responsiveness. We need to match, mirror and pace their verbal and their nonverbal communication. We need to give back to them what they’re giving us. By doing so, they feel heard and understood. This actually creates high trust. The person feels safe and they will actually take steps to make positive changes because transformation actually happens in that connection.