Sunday, June 19, 2011

What do you say to a crack dealer?

What do you say to a career drug dealer on the first day of intervention?

"How could you?... Your evil... You NEED TO CHANGE NOW... You are destroying people's lives."

Yeah, good luck with that.

If social work school taught me anything, it is this. You begin with what people do great.

You talk about his entrepreneurship.

You talk about his ambition.

You talk about his work ethic.

You then talk about how he can re-direct his energy to other ventures.

Blaming does not work. No matter how criminal or difficult.

When we start with the strengths of a community, a person, or an organization we no longer have to start from a place of weakness and shame, "Look at me.. I'm such a terrible drug dealing stupid person".

This can sometimes, work. But, its low energy and doesn't last long.

Building on strengths is hard work. It requires you to look for the light no matter how dark.

It requires trusting that someone can do better.

It requires being honest and hopeful all at once.

If you do this already for your clients or customers. Congrats.

Now, apply it to your family and co-workers.

Change starts at home.

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