Creating an equal energy exchange with your clients help ensure a smooth and successful coaching relationship.
Equal energy exchange: what is it?
Equal energy exchange is an important concept — not only in business, but in life in general.
Equal energy exchange is the principle that in a relationship both parties are giving and receiving an equal amount of energy.
In a coaching relationship, equal energy exchange is what makes the coaching relationship symbiotic and beneficial for both the client AND the coach. (Because you as a coach should also be getting satisfaction and energy from coaching your clients!)
So what does equal energy exchange look like in a coaching relationship? Read on to find out and see how you can ensure your coaching relationships follow this key principle.
What equal energy exchange looks like in coaching
Business is an exchange of value for money. And in coaching, there’s an even bigger exchange.
The initial transaction of a client signing up to work with you is one of exchanging value for money. (That’s one reason you want to be sure your offer and pricing matches the level of support you provide. If not, you are likely to feel resentful of your clients, which is not a good thing!)
But past the point of that initial transaction, your coaching relationship with your clients should be mutually beneficial, meaning you and the client both receive value from the relationship. (After all, if you don’t enjoy coaching your clients, what’s the point?!)
Even when someone is paying to work with you, that doesn’t mean they have unlimited access to you.
You deserve and need to set boundaries and clear expectations to create that mutually beneficial relationship. When you do, you manage your own energy, so that you can show up even more powerfully for your clients.
Signs that you’re lacking an equal energy exchange in your coaching relationships
It’s often easier to see where we may be out of balance in a relationship, coaching or otherwise.
Here are some signs:
- You’re feeling resentful. Resentment is a sign of an unmet need and can be an indicator that you are giving more than you want or you are receiving less than you expect.
- You’re feeling drained or exhausted. We all have periods of feeling stressed or drained, but if there’s one particular relationship that is draining, it can be helpful to examine the dynamics of that relationship.
- You dread interactions. If you’re dreading interacting with a certain person, it’s a sign that person is triggering something within you and it’s worth it to examine if it’s an energy imbalance within the relationship.
For any coach, especially a coach who is an empath or highly sensitive person, the lack of feeling that equal energy will prove draining. Anything that is draining will eventually lead to burnout if we don’t address and remedy it.
If you find yourself in the above scenarios, you want to examine what’s beneath these feelings and see if it’s an imbalance of energy.
How to create equal energy exchange in your business
Equal energy exchange doesn’t just happen naturally in your relationships. You need to create the foundation for it.
Here are 3 ways you can do that:
1. Be clear about your “must haves” and deal-breakers when it comes to clients.
I’m not talking just about your coaching niche. Get very specific about the types of clients you want to work with and those inner qualities that are important to being in relationship with you. For me, one of the most important qualities in a client is self-responsibility, meaning, even though I am their coach, they take full responsibility for their thoughts and actions. That’s a key characteristic of a successful coach and business owner. Decide what your non-negotiable qualities are for clients and don’t compromise.
2. Set clear expectations with clients at the start of the relationship.
Clarify exactly how long the sessions are and that they will start and end on time. Communicate when a client can expect to hear back from you if they email you. If you offer Voxer support, be sure to set a guideline on when and how often you check. Remember, just because a client hires you as their coach does not mean you have to be available to them 24/7. That’s not realistic, and it often creates a more codependent coaching relationship, which is not healthy for either party.
3. Set and honor your boundaries.
As a business owner, you need to set boundaries that protect your own time and energy. Then you must communicate them to your clients and speak up when they are violated. If a client repeatedly violates your boundaries (i.e., continues to show up late, pushes the calls to go beyond the scheduled time despite your best attempts to end them, texts you outside of business hours), you must have the uncomfortable conversation. If this keeps up, you might decide to end that client relationship. (This is why I always have an “out” clause in my contract — so if the relationship needs to end based on either party’s needs, it outlines how that can be done.)
When you set the stage proactively for an equal relationship, it is more likely to occur. In some cases, it may fall out of balance, and those are opportunities to have an open discussion and reset expectations with your client.
What it looks like to have an equal energy exchange in your client relationships
When you have equal energy exchange relationships with your clients, things feel in balance. You feel good about your overall relationship, you don’t feel disrespected or taken advantage of, and you are enjoying coaching your clients.
Here are some signs that you have an equal energy relationship with your coaching clients:
- You feel energized by your client interactions. In general, you feel excited to serve your clients and answer their questions. While it’s not realistic that every client session feels happy and joyful (deeper coaching can definitely be triggering), when you consider the overall balance, you feel good about it.
- Your boundaries are respected. You feel there is mutual respect between you and your clients. Neither person is pushing time or energy boundaries. Even though no relationship is ever perfect, each person is taking responsibility for their actions and is committed to putting their fullest effort into the coaching relationship.
- You still have time and energy for yourself. A good sign that you have both equal energy relationships and strong boundaries is that you continue to have time and energy for yourself and what’s important to you. If you don’t, it’s a sign that you might need to do a better job of prioritizing your needs and taking care of yourself.
Creating an equal energy exchange with your coaching clients starts with you
Remember, for people to respect your time and energy, you must first respect them yourself. Setting boundaries allows you to ensure your needs are met, so that you can better serve your clients.
Practicing equal energy exchange in your business helps ensure that both you and your clients are getting equal value out of the relationship, so that you are not burning out in the process.
As it’s your business, you get to decide what that balance looks and feels like to you and set those guidelines, knowing that relationships are always in flux and may require adjustment.
To read more about setting strong boundaries in your business, click here.