Self referencing means sharing your story to reflect on a client’s experience.
For instance your client might share a vulnerable experience they just had. Instead of listening and keeping the attention on them, you will share your own story to offer a mirror to their own experience.
Doing that in isolated situations is ok of course but not more than 5% to 10% of the interactions with your clients.
Your client might ask you:
“Have you been exposed to a similar challenge in your past? How did you handle it?
In this situation, of course they invite you to open up and it is appropriate to QUICKLY share your story.
But your client is NOT inviting you to spend the next 10 minutes bragging about your success and your handling of your experience.
Share what you need to share! Go straight to the point and bring the attention back to them as soon as possible.
This means that as a coach, space holding friend or romantic partner, there is a risk of talking too much about yourself rather than focusing on the other person’s story.
This is called highjacking a conversation or a sharing!
When someone does that a lot in social settings, it feels really toxic and draining.
Back to professional coach setting…
When you take attention away from your client and focus it too much on your own experiences, it tends to create confusion in the session.
A quick 10 seconds reflection mentioning something related you experienced here and there is ok, simply don’t tell your full story in detail.
More on this topic in the video!