Tea with the Queen

Managing your client’s energy without taking it on



Sometimes it can be difficult managing your client’s energy without taking it on yourself. 

They’re going through something hard in their business, their energy is depleted and they are coming to you for guidance.

How do you ensure you can hold space for their feelings and work through their issues, without taking on their energy?

Today, I want to share with you a personal experience with a client that taught me valuable lessons in managing not just my energy, but also that of my clients.

The Challenge of Balancing Delivery and Business Development

One of my long-term clients approached me with a common dilemma – the need to focus on delivering results while putting a pause on business development. It’s a challenge many entrepreneurs face – the immediate demands of client work often overshadow the importance of nurturing future opportunities. 

We knew that delaying business development could have long-term repercussions, but the client’s heavy workload left us with no choice but to temporarily shift our focus.

After a few months of prioritising delivery over development, the impact was clear. Her business was suffering. We had to regroup, reassess our strategies, and reignite our focus on building relationships and exploring growth opportunities. 

I could see that my client was struggling and it was a difficult conversation to have. Her energy was off and as her coach, I needed to deliver some hard truths.

After heavy conversations as a business coach, I have three go-to strategies that I hope will help you in managing your client’s energy without taking it on yourself.

1. Preparing for Challenging Conversations

Anticipating the emotional intensity of client discussions and mentally preparing myself helps me approach each interaction with clarity and empathy. Setting boundaries and being in the right mindset before a session is crucial.

2. The Role of Physical Activity to Move Energy

Taking a solitary walk or engaging in a calming activity like journaling or meditation allows me to decompress and process the emotions that arise during intense client conversations. Physical movement and quiet reflection work wonders in restoring balance.

3. Listening to Your Gut

Recognising the signals your body sends in response to stress or discomfort is essential. Trusting your instincts and acting on them can prevent emotional overload and help you work through challenging situations. 

I’ve found that when I haven’t listened to my gut and instead perhaps operated from a more “logical” space, the outcome has been more challenging.

Shake Off Negative Energy

Navigating heavy conversations with clients is a skill that evolves with experience and self-awareness. Recognising whether the emotions you’re experiencing belong to you or have been transferred from others is a crucial step in maintaining boundaries and preserving your energy.

My client’s journey through a challenging phase taught me the importance of resilience and adaptability in the business coaching space.  

As you come across clients burdened with heavy emotions or challenging situations, remember to prioritise self-care, set clear boundaries, and trust your intuition. By managing your energy effectively, you not only safeguard your well-being but also enhance your capacity to support and empower those you work with.



Gallup Strengths Assessment

Marco Polo App

For a copy of Emma’s book, ‘Go-getter: Raise your mojo, shift your mindset and thrive’ – https://www.emmamcqueen.com.au/book/

Read The Full Transcript

[00:00:00] Emma: We've got a range of clients from one on one clients to clients who are in group settings to clients who are only on zoom to clients that are face to face and sometimes those conversations leave us feeling a little bit depleted.
[00:00:14] Sometimes they make us feel energized, but a lot of the time people are dealing with stuff. And I want to tell you about a client of mine, a client of mine who last year came to me. We've been working together for a few years and she came to me and she was knee deep in delivery. And she's like, Emma, I've got so much delivery to do that.
[00:00:33] I really need to stop business development. I hate those words. I hate it when someone says to me, I need to stop business development because we know what happens. So for all my clients that do business development, the moment they stop, it doesn't hurt then, but three months, four months, five months down the track, Oh, it really hurts.
[00:00:54] The problem was we were understaffed for her. and the business was growing. So we had to down our business development tools and she had to head down bottom up and get stuff done and deliver for her clients. So there was no choice. We talked about it at length.
[00:01:12] We talked about how we could do a little bit of it. We talked about how we could do a lot of it. We talked about. What else it would take to get that done. And we agreed that we needed to put it on hold for a couple of months, which was a really hard decision for both her and for me. Because I know that business development is what gets us results, So we knew it would hurt later. So I want to tell you about later. Fast forward to three months later and it was hurting like heck. And so what we needed to do is get our developed business development relationship building skates back on and get back into it.
[00:01:50] We use an app called Marco Polo. So we chat a lot on Marco Polo about different strategies, different plans to put in place in order to dial up the business [00:02:00] development. But some of our sessions have been a bit heavier than usual based on the fact that lack of business development absolutely means lack of business.
[00:02:09] I'm sure you have been there. I'm sure all of us have been there where we've had a conversation with someone and it has felt a bit heavy and we have had to try and work through what that has looked like for us.
[00:02:24] So there's three things that I do to kind of shake that off. The first thing that I do is if I know I'm going to go into a conversation where someone is struggling a little bit, and let's face it, I'm a business coach, but things happen on the family front that affect our business, It's not like I can say to people, leave all your family stuff at the door.
[00:02:43] The reason that we go into business is normally for our families, their families. That's going down. That absolutely impacts our coaching sessions. So I try and prepare myself. I put myself in some kind of state where I'm prepared for the conversation that's going to follow, whether or not that's a light conversation or a heavy conversation, I kind of prepare for that, which kind of makes me feel like I'm in a bubble.
[00:03:04] Yeah, I'm preparing and I'm in a bubble. After the conversation, I normally switch off and I take myself out for a walk in the sunshine. Now I live in Melbourne, so I say sunshine with tongue in cheek, but I take myself for a walk. I also have a 14 year old dog and he can't walk very far. His name is Spencer and we normally go for a walk around the block, which is 15 minutes and that helps me.
[00:03:27] There's no music. I'm not talking to anyone. It just helps me to decompress what has happened with that session. I am very privileged to have a nap every day. And what the nap does for me is not only does it help me to be more productive for the rest of the day and have energy, it actually allows my brain to process all the stuff that's been going on throughout the day.
[00:03:48] They're my three strategies. And I realize sometimes you can't just go and have a nap. So what do you do? I would love to know what you do. There are a couple of tips that I give some of my clients who are also [00:04:00] in the coaching and consulting space in order to kind of shake it off. First of all, I think a meditation or a mindfulness activity is great.
[00:04:08] Even if you only have a minute between sessions or five minutes between sessions, just taking time to focus on our breath, focus on our mind and just bring down the feelings. I think the other thing is that sometimes we leave a conversation, this could be in person, it could be via Zoom, it could be via phone.
[00:04:29] We leave a conversation and we feel off. You know when you have those conversations, it's just not quite right. And the question that I honestly need, you need to ask yourself is, is that my feelings or is that someone else's feelings? Have they just transferred their feelings? And in which case, how are you dealing with that?
[00:04:49] And are you taking those feelings on? now? If there's someone else's awesome. if they're your feelings, then you need to work through why you're feeling that way.
[00:04:58] What does that look like for you? A journaling exercise is amazing. asking why a few times to get to the root of the issue can be very freeing. If they're not your feelings, just recognizing that they're not your feelings is amazing. I have harmony as one of my Gallup strengths. there's 34 strengths in Gallup.
[00:05:18] My top five, one of them is harmony. And what that actually means is that my gut speaks before my head has a chance to catch up. So if something's off, I can feel it in my gut. If something's not quite right, my gut alerts me to it. Yeah. And for years I ignored this and went against my gut and did all the things went with logic versus my gut.
[00:05:37] And that did not bode well for me. So now I really listened to my gut. So some things you can do to shake it off. So here's some quick tips. We are all busy business owners, right? We can go for a walk. A walk is the best dopamine hit you can get. You can play music. I've got a playlist, which is a chill playlist.
[00:05:56] And I've also got an upbeat You can do something nice for yourself, [00:06:00] like paint your nails. there's so many things you can do for me. I go and do some Lego or I go and do a jigsaw or I go and talk to someone if I need to debrief it somewhere, but more than not, you'll find me just walking in silence.
[00:06:13] That beautiful silence to process what has happened through the day. So the next time someone comes in and, they've got a heavy load, which we all do at times. So there's nothing wrong with the heaviness. What you don't want to do is you don't want to catch that heaviness. You don't want to take that heaviness on.
[00:06:33] You really want to process it. If it's yours to process, if it's not yours to process, mate, we got to shake that off. and I, that's where I put on Tay Tay music. You just got to shake it off. What about you? Have you ever had a client that you've worked with and you have felt a bit heavy after the session?
[00:06:51] What have you done to recenter yourself or to ground yourself? I would love to hear. my client who was in the season for heaviness, she just got straight back on that horse. And she started doing business development, building relationships because she is so good at it. And that drought, that three month drought was fixed pretty quickly.
[00:07:11] So don't despair. If you're sitting there thinking, that's me, just jump back on the horse. You'll be absolutely fine. If you do the one right thing that you need to do right now. So grab a cuppa, have a little sit down, work out how you deal with people who have some heaviness of stuff going on in their lives.
[00:07:32] And what do you do to process it, to shake it off, to work out whether it's yours or whether it's theirs. and your body, your heart and your mind will thank you.