I’ve decided to start a new technique in my pastoral counseling and meetings. Here it is. When I sit down with someone and we’ve pushed past the initial “catching up” part of the conversation, I’m now going to say, “I want us to pretend we have just 5 minutes before we both have to leave our time together. What is the most crucial thing you want to discuss?”
Why 5 minutes? Because recently I’ve found that it’s in the last 5 minutes when the person knows it’s time to go that they share the most valuable thing. Then your left with this important issue and not having enough time to discuss it. Some people have a hard time just saying what’s on their mind. They end up beating around the bush and talking about everything else but what they really want to say.
So now in a loving way I can defuse that anxiety for them by “going there” for them and we can spend more time on what’s truly valuable to them. What has helped you in difficult conversations to getting to what’s most valuable? I’d love to hear from you below.