Friday, December 30, 2016

Focus on One Change at a Time

I teach helping skills and social work practice classes. Watching developing helpers engage with their colleagues in live- real helping triads (one of my favorite teaching "tools"), I learn a great deal about the nature of helping and change. It allows me to watch "mistakes" being performed, and watch their consequence on actual human change.

One of the mistakes that many developing helpers make is trying to solve too many problems at one time, or attempting to get their clients to develop many different skills at once. Invariably, such a diffuse focus is overwhelming for a "helpee." It also prevents them really using their strengths and capacities to deeply engaging in the change process. Changing one thing is difficult, changing many, well.

What does this mean for you? 

Focus on one change at a time. Forget about the ten things you want to change. Take one, develop a plan for making that change, set about following your plan, and then evaluate your success.  If you are not happy with the progress you have made, develop a new plan, or get additional help and support. If you are happy with what you have achieved, go to the next issue.

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