My mother may be dying. It is a confusing time for me. I’m distracted during training sessions. Long time clients likely notice; and they would be offended if I hid such a significant personal fact from them. My calendar effects theirs and has become unreliable. Also, the students in my classes deserve an explanation for my frequent last minute employ of substitute teachers. Some of these people are beleaguered by similar sadness and panic as they care for their own parents. Many of them have recently experienced it themselves and are fonts of very helpful advice and information. I could use their help; but I am like a dam about to break. Get me started and I’ll spill grief for the entire hour.
How much is too much sharing?
I usually reveal just enough of myself in a training session to foster a sense of equity and peer to peer confidentiality. After all, it’s their time, and their dime; but when you’ve talked with a client twice a week for a decade, the line between friend and professional service provider blurs. Still, there are topics and emotions that ought to remain unspoken.
What criteria do you use to govern the depth or scope of what you reveal?