|Lifeline crisis support skill
||Applied to consulting
|Clear boundaries between my issues/needs and the client’s issues/needs. Keeping my ego consciously in check.
||The only ego I can directly control is my own. Maintaining a clear boundary makes it easier to reduce the involvement of my ego. And frees up energy and attention to focus on the work.
|Listening and engaging with the core person under the surface distractions of language-use, speech (eg speaking through an voice synthesizer), behaviours, beliefs and biases, personality, the influence of substances, or the affectations from mental illnesses.
||It takes effort to see through and work through the surface distractions, which are often compounded by our own prejudices and judgements. The clarity of understanding and strength of connection that result from this effort are worth it.
|Recognising that we connect better with some people and not others. It is OK to say “I don’t think this is going well. Can we start again?”
||Recognise and acknowledge when a relationship is not going well, and take steps to correct (or sometimes, end) it. A festering disquiet can poison the entire project.
|Owning our own mistakes without defensiveness. Not having to know everything right there and then.
||It is OK (and more authentic) to not know everything! Not trying to be perfect improves the connection with other people.
|Not indulging in disempowering caretaking or rescuing; for example by taking over and fixing things for them.
||There needs to be a clear distinction between producing promised deliverables, and taking over “extra” work; especially where doing so disempowers the client by creating dependency.
|Being conscious of what I say, how I say it, and how it may be interpreted.
||This level of awareness is especially useful when engaging with people from diverse backgrounds.
|Not being overwhelmed by too much or too little information in any given moment. Knowing that all will be revealed in due course. Trusting the process to work.
||We have as much or as little information as we have at any given moment. Stressing out over it is not useful. Trusting the process and our experience to produce results in the long run.
|Not reacting. Not rushing to fill in silences.Not needing to control, dominate or be heard all the time (unless it is critical/life-threatening.)
||Carefully considered responses and actions are usually more useful than purely reactionary ones. The need to fill in silences, to be in control of meetings or situations, can be very tempting and unproductive. Silence is gold to a listening consultant.