Imagine you needed to make a very powerful message, one that you hope people will always remember. How would you go about doing that?
I learned one way of delivering an impactful message when I was working with a women’s shelter many years ago. The centre housed women who had been badly abused by their partners. Anyone who worked with the shelter obviously needed to go through training to prepare for some fragile conversations. As part of my training, I was give the following scenario:
A woman had come to the shelter after spending a week in hospital. She had been put there by her husband who beat her so badly that she nearly died. After 3 weeks at the shelter, she began to feel better both physically and mentally. She came to me and revealed that she was thinking of going back home to her husband. She had spoken to him last night and he seemed very sorry. What do I say to her?
My initial instinct was to scream NOOO, Don’t do that…. And let me tell you all the reasons why!
I failed that assignment.
Because I was doing exactly what her husband had done to her some many times, I had taken away her power to decide for herself. I should have said, ‘OK, if that is what you want.’ I should then have asked her if she had any reservations about her decision, and if so, then why? I should have empowered her by allowing her to make her own decisions, and gently guiding her with some questions. I should not have told her what to do.
Some of the most powerful messages are delivered by taking an internal journey and reaching your own conclusion. They do not always come from someone else’s words
Thanks for reading,