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Mary was sweet, soft-spoken, very overwhelmed, yet willing to let me into her business, and to have me as a trusted partner at her side. She was as excited as I was and looking forward to creating more time; time to spend with her little son Alex who so desperately needed her. Intuitively, I realized that despite her excitement, she was experiencing fear and a sense of overwhelm. From now on, she not only had to organize her own work, but hand over work to me, for this week, the month.

Mary experienced what I call the Quicksand Syndrome. It’s when you experience the fear of “now I committed, I should be happy, but ……” It appears in a moment and, when dealt with correctly, disappears as quickly as it shows up.

The start of a new working relationship is a most crucial time; open and honest communication on both sides is so very important from the start. It was at that time that I put on my coaching hat and gently steered Mary through the rising feeling of panic; I’ve seen it happen many times before – I am a master in supporting a new client through this phase. We are a team, and as teammates we communicate and walk all the roads of partnership together.

Being able to voice your anxiety helps sort through it; it helps you build trust, and it helps your VA understand you better; to be there for you and help ease your pain. It’s a win-win situation when done properly.

When a VA is committed to a great client relationship, it’s not only the back-end work she looks after for the client that is important; equally important are caring, compassion, loyalty, and honesty; always. It shows in little things, such as an email to say “I am thinking of you” when you hand over your children to your ex-husband for the week and feel lost; or it’s the unexpected snail mail card reading “Just saying Hi” that you find in your mailbox one morning; or it can be an unexpected call inquiring gently how you feel and assuring you that all will be well.

Great, lasting client relationships are created by having the client’s best well-being in mind at all times, and by working from the heart!

Are you working with a VA? How did she help you through the Quicksand Syndrome and what makes your relationship with her special?