“Working with you is like going to therapy.”

"Working with you is like going to therapy."

I was working with a client last week and at the end of our conversation she said "Working with you is like going to therapy!" (This is not the first time I've heard this from a client.)

What she meant is that she did a lot of talking and I did a lot of listening. (Our conversation was about, among other things, all that was "wrong" with their current technology and all the problems it was causing.)

There's something deeper going on here that I often refer to as the "IT black hole." (Click here to learn more.) In a nutshell, what is happening is staff speaks up about an issue, but the issue is never addressed or resolved, and people begin to feel like they're not being heard (or worse yet, ignored!).

I think the reason my clients say this feels like therapy is that they get a chance to really speak their minds. And I'm doing everything I can to simply listen to them. I don't try to immediately provide answers or "correct" what they're saying. I'm listening for key insights and outcomes desired.

Focusing on outcomes allows us to then work backwards to a solution. But to get there we have to listen, which means allowing people to really talk about what's bothering them. So yeah, I guess it is a form of therapy...

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