Balance is the key to helping people change
There is a scale with empathetic on one end and authoritarian on the other end.
Both ends of the scale are unhelpful.
A helpful approach falls somewhere in the middle.
Let’s look at the two extremes.
- Problem: client is obese. He likes sweets.
- Helper: I understand how you feel man. Let’s go get some ice creams and talk about it.
- That helper isn’t going to help out much.
- Problem: Client is obese. He likes eating sweets.
- Helper: I don’t keep junk like that in my house. My body is a temple. I only eat health food and you should too. You’re going on a very strict health plan. Now get down and give me 25 (push-ups).
- This helper is going to cause the client to run and hide.
Let’s take a look at somewhere in the middle:
Problem: Client is obese and he likes eating.
Helper: shows (empathy) I get it. I have struggled with this too. Shows authority: and making changes can be easy. We can start out slow and make progress.
This approach appears to work better. It’s not too easy and it’s not too hot, but just right.
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