The Most Powerful Tool We Have

Anxiously prodding for discharge has never been helpful. To pay loving, respectful attention is still the most powerful single tool we have.

Up until fairly recently, there was a phenomenon that when I would visit Communities, the one uncrackable client that no one could get to discharge would be saved and dragged out and thrust at me for a demonstration, often with a few preliminary speeches that “we’ve tried everything,” “I did this, I did this, I did this,” and “nothing works,” and he’s standing there with nothing working.

Almost always this is solved by respectful, warm listening for about three or four minutes and interested questions (What do you do for a living? How’s your job?)—actually showing some interest.

As soon as the safety and interest is felt, the person starts heavy discharge. We simply need to be very human, expect discharge when it’s ready, and basically be interested in the person and listen. It does almost everything.

Harvey Jackins
From page 310 of “From the Men’s
Workshop,” in The Rest of Our Lives


Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00