3 Professional Details That Make All The Difference
Reading Tarot professionally can be a strange field. There aren’t any real “canon” standards of practice. Speaking personally, I felt like I was winging it for the first couple years. Of course, I knew how to read Tarot, but all those professional details were totally lost on me.
But of course, breadth & depth of experience is the best teacher. So today, I’m going to share a few tips from my own experience that might benefit your professional practice.
1. Confidence is Key
Maintaining your confidence is vital to conducting successful professional practice. Note, confidence ≠ arrogance.
I’ve seen a lot of really awesome readers starting out who are skeptical of themselves or their ability to read the cards. This can (and often does) translate into a lack of confidence when sitting with a client.
So please, don’t compare yourself to other readers or practitioners. Don’t shame yourself if you don’t call yourself psychic (a lot of us don’t!). Don’t think that you need to be some kind of unique snowflake to be valuable in this field.
Instead, when you find yourself in a session with a client, trust in the moment. When you’re talking to someone and they get interested in scheduling an appointment, trust in the moment. If you have a hard time being confident in yourself and your abilities, start with developing confidence in the moment. Affirm to yourself, “This is happening,” and take responsibility for your role by doing the absolute best, as authentically as you can.
2. Be prepared for tricky sessions.
No one has a 100% satisfaction rate. No one slam dunks it every single time. No one is perfect.
And just because you may not know what to say in that moment, or you may have a difficult time putting together a clear interpretation, doesn’t mean you ought to feel any less confident. Why should you? A confident person recognizes that challenges can & will arise—a foolish person expects it to go smoothly every time, all the time.
I’ll tell you flat out: Some of my best sessions were ones in which I felt like I was grasping at straws. You know how I make it out of these paper bags?
I get clear with my client. I tell them what about the arrangement is making me confused, and I ask if they’d be OK with me taking a different approach, one that I developed (a trade secret) for circumstances like this.
Use good humor and remind your clients that you’re only human. Be relatable! If the client thinks you have superpowers, then they may not accept the fact that you may be out of your depth sometimes.
Being professional means accepting your limitations and employing solutions to meet them. I’ve never had a client get upset with me for being honest when I encountered some confusion. Providing an alternative method when the usual method isn’t working means you’re prepared, and they appreciate that. Preparedness is the mark of a professional.
3. Allow time for feedback
I recommend allotting some time toward the end of the session to check in with your client about the experience.
Ensure that the client has picked up on some key points during the session. When I conduct a session an hour or longer, I strive to make sure that the client can identify three key points of their attention & perspective that were the focal points of the reading, and to say (in their own words) what these focal points mean to them. When the client can effortlessly communicate these points, then I know for certain that the session was successful.
In some cases, this post-session evaluation also enables the client to share their perspective on the session, and to critique the “flow” of how it was conducted. Giving them an opportunity, right then & there, to air out any concerns they may have in regards to their satisfaction goes a very long way. It enables you to respond immediately if the client felt stressed, confused, or anxious about the content of the session or how the service was provided.
Of course, it’s up to you to navigate how you will personally respond to a client that may have had a difficult time with the session or your style of approach. The point is to give yourself an opportunity to put out a fire early and reach a mutual understanding. This translates into doing the best you can, and prioritizing the client’s experience. (Which, is what it’s all about).
Contrary to what some people think, prioritizing the client experience is not sugar-coating the difficult aspects of the session. Rather, it’s about being clear, honest, and extending genuine interest in the client’s well-being, and helping them absorb as much constructive advice from the session that they can.
It’s important to be cognizant of the fact that working with others through the Tarot presents many subtle nuances. We all know that, from time to time, sessions can be difficult to get through, and we may wind up sitting with someone who is incompatible with our style of approach. But regardless of what may happen in a session, we’re still conducting an interpersonal service where the prime directive is helping people to grow & adapt.
So the take-home here is that professional awareness is positioned between you and the client. Attending to clear communication is how we develop healthy and honest client relationships, and this requires a level of humility and genuine receptivity. No one said it was easy!