I just had a great meeting with a great client. It’s always nice to work with someone who is very interested in their own development. And who’s insightful to boot. This guy is definitely both. He said something in the course of our coaching session that I wanted to capture. He was describing his relationship with one of his direct reports. When we’d first met, he was super frustrated by this person, and didn’t trust them.
In our session today he said, “I realized I have to work with her. In fact, I’ve decided I want to work with her, as what she brings is far more valuable than the challenges with her are harmful.” That was certainly movement for him, but it wasn’t the thing I wanted to capture. “When I let her go and do her job, without trying to control her, it takes a lot of stress off of me. When I was trying to take all the risk out of it, and put her in a little box, she moved around like a broken toy. It just doesn’t work.”
I think he’s really on to something here. What helps us have good, quality relationships? Well, lots of things. That said, I do think that risk is one of them. When we try to mitigate all risk out of a situation, it will become a shell of itself. I think this is true in our most intimate relationships, as well as in our professional ones. Risk is a part of life. To trust is to say, I understand the risks involved here, and move forward regardless.
Another way to say this: trust shows up in the face of risk, not in its absence.
Goodness, I love a good client.