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Do You Take Your Mother With You To Client Meetings?

(2 minute read)

I’ve met some consultants who do.

Let me briefly explain.

There’s a topic from psychoanalysis called transference.

“Transference is when adults interact with, and react to, other adults as if they were significant figures from their early childhood: parents, siblings or maybe teachers. They “transfer” their past attitudes and feelings onto the present person.”

In other words, we take feelings towards authority figures from the past (possibly a parent or teacher) and transfer them onto authority figures in the present (for example, your client).

I’ve met an exec who interacted with the company president as if they were their father.

And a consultant who interacted with a new client as if they were a teacher like figure.

Transference is something that can happen when you are younger or older.

How can you use this information? 

Think about the people you work with in your client firms (or maybe even dislike for some reason you can’t quite pinpoint).

Ask yourself, “Who does this person remind me of from my past?” 

Is your interpretation of the present-day person really valid?

Or is it based on transference of your past attitudes & feelings of someone from your past.

Also check for transference when you meet someone for the first time.

This simple approach will help you generate healthier client relationships and achieve more successful outcomes.


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