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Mentor Shares Crucial Conversation Experience
Posted on January 25, 2015, by GAPMP
By Wausheka McClary
I was recently afforded an opportunity to receive training in an area that drives our work both on the job and every other arena in which we provide support. This training in many ways confirmed the mind-set I had prior as much as it enhanced my skill-sets with new ideologies. Time spent in these sessions awakened a variety of emotions while providing many “Aha” moments at the same time.
What was this dynamic training, you ask? I am speaking of none other than Crucial Conversations: tools for talking when the stakes are high brought to us from authors Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler, sponsored by the State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG) and presented by Dr. Laura C. Brown, Ph.D, Director of College and Career Readiness for SPDG.
This training provided easily applicable lessons on getting unstuck in difficult conversations, starting with the heart, mastering my stories, stating my path, learning to look, making it safe, exploring other’s paths, and moving to action.
While all aspects of the training were empowering, the lesson on exploring other’s paths spoke to me the most. This section dealt with the skills necessary to hear what others are really saying when they “blow up” or “clam up”. We can all recall times when we had to help someone though some crisis; yet before we can begin the process of providing support we have to determine what is actually being communicated. This speaks volumes to the work we do as parent mentors and in our personal lives. Enhancing our skillsets in this area better prepares us to address “real” issues rather than opinions and perceptions. This section called us to get AMPP’ed. That is: Ask questions to get things rolling, Mirror to confirm feelings, Paraphrase to acknowledge the story, and Prime when you’re getting nowhere.
In the grand scheme of things the lessons in this wonderful book are those that are quite common to us as mentors. Be that as it may, it is sometimes necessary to take a step back and re-assess situations to ensure that we are handling them in the best interest of those in need according to their present level of comprehension and awareness rather than being driven by our passion to save the day by doing what we think is best.
I strongly advise all of you to purchase a copy of this book. You will be amazed at how its contents will confirm your conversation style as well as reveal areas in which you can improve. As previously stated, this book will not only help you in your work but in all areas of your personal life as well.
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