Crucial Conversations Can Inspire Change

After our initial conversation (see yesterday’s blog post), this mom decided she needed more time to process.  We met two other times to talk. More time allowed her to share with me why she was more ok with her multiple-times-a-day pot smoking than she was with her son’s similar pattern of use.  

Since she wasn’t asking for my opinion, I did a totally weird thing and didn’t give it.  Later she told me that just listening to herself talk actually helped her change her own opinion on the subject.

By the end of our meetings she had a plan.  I suppose there were many ways all of this could have gone down, but here is what happened:

  1. She decided she had a problem herself.

  2. She didn’t feel equipped to talk to her son with integrity until she got some help for herself.

  3. She got help and began tapering down.  Her current goal is to be clean in 90 days.

  4. She came clean with her son about her situation and acknowledged that she was initially only focused on “his” issue.  

  5. He is currently unwilling to change his dosing.

  6. She is ok with having her own experience and believes that she will be able to circle back around and have further conversations in the days ahead.

I love this so very much.  It isn’t a neat and tidy story with an ideal ending.  But it is a story of mutual respect, no condemnation, and full of possibility of change.  These are not the kinds of conversations any of us can have if we are unconsciously contemptuous.  

Can you consider how you might have two “projects” going simultaneously?  One project is the continued work of self-examination; the second is the wisdom work of speaking up when it is ours to do and there is a problem at hand.