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Chapter 5. An effective client relations... > Step five: Shadow diamond

Step five: Shadow diamond

Whenever people come together, there are two sides to the association. The surface issues, which relate to those things that people are happy to share with others, and the "shadow" issues, which are the hidden behaviours, thoughts and feelings that people are less comfortable about sharing. The shadow issues are important because they often drive the force and direction of any change. You probably know people who are scared of spiders or have a particular aversion to a type of food. Although these fears are seemingly silly, they can significantly influence the decisions people take and how they manage their lives.

Although you might be fortunate enough to know your client well, in the vast majority of cases you will not be emotionally connected with the client. This can be like the first fumbling teenage date, where both kids are trying to second guess and satisfy the goals of the other person without compromising their personal values and integrity. In the same way, the early meetings with a client can end up as a series of fumbling encounters, where both people are trying to understand the needs and goals of the other. Part of the reason why this dilemma occurs is because we all operate on two levels of interaction, the surface and the shadow.


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