It’s been a pretty tough couple of weeks for me. Not only was I on the road for longer than usual, when I finally returned home, I was faced with a personal crisis for one of my family members.
I won’t get into the details because they are beside the point. What I will share is that in the heat of the situation where I am working with a child in crisis, I did not use what I teach about will drivers to diffuse the situation, I did not engage in a strategic conversation, and I did not remain committed but not attached. In fact, I did the exact opposite. I got caught up in the emotion of the situation and actually made it worse.
Here I am preaching all over the world the idea of strategic conversations, and when I am confronted with a situation where a strategic conversation would bring resolution and healing, I failed to apply what I know absolutely works.
It wasn’t until later that day while reflecting on the incident that I even thought about will drivers, and once I did, I was immediately sick to my stomach. I felt like I had failed.
Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever reacted to a situation when you KNOW better? Have you ever gotten caught up in the moment and failed to use what you know works? Have you ever made things WORSE instead of better?
Then you know how awful I felt.
I had a choice at that moment. I could have beat myself up and given up hope, assuming that the damage was done and there was nothing I could do to fix it.
Or, I could go back, apologize, and use what I know about will drivers and strategic conversations to repair the damage.
I chose to do the latter. It was tough, and at first, I didn’t feel I was making any progress. But I stuck with it. I keep feeding the right will drivers, I kept focused on having the right conversation, I stuck with it even when things got difficult. And you know what? I was able to repair the situation and move things forward.
I am telling you this because I want you to know that even though I have been teaching this methodology for almost 10 years now, it doesn’t mean that it is easy for me or that I always do it perfectly. I am still growing, I am still learning, and there are times when like you, I too struggle with it.
But here’s what I know to be absolutely true. When you feed will drivers, when you use strategic conversations, it works.
Every. Single. Time.
Even when you don’t do it perfectly. Even when you mess up . Even when you think it’s too late and the damage is already done.
So be gentle with yourself. Know that you will make mistakes but that doesn’t mean that you give up on the process. You can repair the damage. You can try it again.
I know. I did. And it made all the difference.