Give the gift of conversational context

I have a therapist friend who uses an interesting technique to keep clients focused during phone sessions. 

Within the first few minutes, before digging into the heart of the matter, he asks the following question:

Is there anything on the top of your mind that might distract you during this call? 

It’s a simple, respectful and practical tool for setting context. 

Not just for the client, but for the therapist as well. Because he’s working solely from audio. And if his client is secretly checking email during the phone call, he’ll never know. 

But asking this question encourages people to be fully present with each other and acutely aware of what’s on their minds. 

Who knows? Without such a gesture, the first twenty minutes of the therapy session might be biased, distracted, or even dishonest. 

Not exactly a healing environment. 

Next time you sit down with a client, give them the gift of conversational context. 

Ask them to name the mental obstacles that might interfere with the task at hand. 


Is communicating with you a relaxing experience?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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