Feeling Brave? 2 Challenging Questions to Help Your Clients Handle Rejection!

When a client comes to me feeling bad about themselves because they were rejected I like to startle them with a question, "Well, are you psychic?" Because unless they're psychic they won't know the REAL reason they were rejected - they are just making assumptions.

We all like to think we can mind-read; they think I'm unattractive, annoying, a loser, they don't like me because I'm too THIS or I'm not enough THAT. But one thing is common - these are all ASSUMPTIONS. And when it comes to rejection, making negative assumptions only makes us feel worse.

Of course there are ALL sorts of reasons we get rejected or turned down. Maybe we were rejected because someone was tired and wanted to stay home. Or they're stressed and can't give us the benefit of the doubt today. Maybe they're jaded and find your enthusiasm a painful reminder of how they used to be. Maybe they feel threatened by us and prefer the company of someone less challenging for them. Maybe they DON'T find us attractive. Maybe they're incapable of reading between the lines and/or giving us the job based on our capacity to learn rather than our experience.

But whatever it is, it's about the OTHER person and what they think and feel. The rejection is not about us.

Remember that time you didn't hear back from someone, and you thought they didn't like you or that you'd upset them? Then remember how it turned out they were away, had some family crisis, lost your number or never got your email because their computer crashed?

So, when you notice your clients making negative assumptions (also known as mind-reading) as to WHY they were rejected...

Try Asking These 2 Challenging Questions:

  1. First, ask kindly and with rapport! "So, are you Psychic?"
  2. Then, "How do you KNOW that to be true? What PROOF do you have?"

And if they INSIST on making negative assumptions, why not ask them to find a REFRAME and make their assumptions POSITIVE? After all, if we're going to make assumptions they may as well be to our advantage! For example: I got rejected because: I am too gorgeous, too much fun, I'm over-qualified, I am clearly too helpful and customer-service oriented for that organization!

In Summary:

As a coach, it's our job to spot when our client is making assumptions and draw this to their attention. Then, if they insist on making assumptions, why not help them have some fun with it and assume the best?

Watch Out For:

Sometimes our clients will need to process how they feel before they do any work to a more positive outlook on their situation. This is especially true when it comes to a big or important rejection. So make sure to trust your intuition - and encourage them to work through how they feel FIRST, if it seems necessary.

"I think of life itself now as a wonderful play that I've written for myself, and so my purpose is to have the utmost fun playing my part." Shirley MacLaine


If you liked this, you may like our other articles on Rejection:

Emma-Louise Elsey Headshot

Contributing Author:

Emma-Louise Elsey has been coaching since 2003 and is the Founder of The Coaching Tools Company and Fierce Kindness.com. She's passionate about coaching and personal development. Originally a project and relationship manager for Fortune 500 companies she combined her love of coaching, creativity and systems to create over 100 brandable coaching tools, forms and exercises including 30+ completely free coaching tools. She now serves coaches and the coaching world through her exclusive newsletter for coaches, Coaches Helping Coaches Facebook Group and many other great tools for coaches, plus resources and ideas for your coaching toolbox. The Coaching Tools Company is an official ICF Business Solutions Partner.

Learn more about Emma-Louise & see all their articles here >>


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