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Why Clients Remember Bad Experiences More Than Good Ones

A fellow coach and I were talking the other day about a client of hers who seemed to focus on what she felt the coach WASN'T doing for her instead of all the things the coach had helped her with during their coaching.

The discussion then went to the tendency of a person to remember and talk more about a bad experience with you than they will a good one. We began to discuss why that seems to be the case.

Here are some thoughts that came to mind:

1. A "bad" experience creates a "disruptive" charge, while a good one creates a "harmonious" charge

2. A bad experience is like a shock or jolt to the system. It interrupts the flow someone is in and causes them to "stop short." Think of it like the sound of a record needle playing a lovely tune then suddenly stopping and playing in reverse for a moment.

3. A bad experience that interrupts someone's flow makes them not only get out of the flow (which felt so good and natural, so now they are angry about losing that feeling), but also to have to spend time/energy/attention to "correct" the disruption so they can get back into the flow again (which leads to more negative feelings).

4. While they're spending time/energy/attention on correcting the disruption, it is taking away their time/energy/attention from other things they were in the flow of, causing more of a feeling of disruption.

Understanding this, you can see why it's important to do all you can to help the client make the correction and get back into the flow as quickly as possible, as the longer that takes, the higher the negative charge will be around the experience and the more likely they are to share their bad feelings with others (since this is a way we use to release the charge, just like animals do by shaking their bodies aggressively after an altercation).

One caveat to take note of: Some clients will complain or try to defer the responsibility for their poor results onto you. In this case, it's important to unemotionally assess their comments/complaints to determine if there is validity to them and a way for you to address/correct their concerns, or if it's time for you to maintain your boundaries and step up to lead them through their limiting patterns or beliefs.

Your partner in success,

Lisa Smith
Marketing, Mindset & Manifesting Coach

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