How not to be nervous with clients and colleagues

I was watching Dave’s cat the other day, Willow, walking around the house like it owned it, stepping onto the laptop keyboard and sitting there while Sophie was trying to type a letter. Basically happy as you like.

Then the dog came in, with its bouncy demeanour, looking to play, and I just watched Willow turn from contented to wary in an instant, her stare frozen on this bane of her life, moving slightly backwards and becoming very aware of her positioning in the room.

Willow had a choice – stand there and ignore the ‘threat’, or try to escape. She did the latter and the dog chased her through the cat flap and out into the garden, where she jumped onto the fence and was safe once more.

You ever feel that way when a certain client or colleague contacts you? Our basic instincts kick in, the amygdala part of our brain shaping our emotions and response – fight or flight.

We’ve learned recently through our spanky new training course, Vivid Leaf, that yes, we all respond or react to different clients in different ways. You may have a client that you just don’t get on with and are resigned to having a fairly basic relationship with them. You may get very nervous when confronted with a big presentation or pitch, and think that you’ll always feel that way. But, get this, it’s simply not the case. You can change your responses, actually in the moment, and therefore completely change your relationships or how you feel before [and in] challenging situations.


By first accepting that you can shape your brain’s pathways to develop new lines of thought. This is called neuroplasticity.

Secondly, by thinking about why you currently react in a specific way, e.g. you may feel nervous before a meeting because your reference point is a meeting that didn’t go to plan 10 years ago.  When you identify this, change the reference point. Then bed it in. Before long your outlook will change.

And thirdly, become aware of really being ‘in the moment’. The whole area of mindfulness helps with this. The benefit is that you begin to see the situation for what it is, you look at the data rather than assuming, you get to really listen to clients and pick up on things you may not have.

Obviously this isn’t the whole shebang, but it’s massively liberating to know you can change how you work with clients and that you don’t have to accept the status quo.

We’re so excited to have a course that can really empower people to do this. The start of a fabulous journey. Just a shame the cat can’t do it.

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