For those of you who know me personally you are well aware that I have a tendency to talk- a lot. In fact, I sometimes (frequently?) have a difficult time reading social cues to just shut up in general.
I also tend to talk with my hands and I am told that I am extremely facially expressive. (This is not my fault, I am also Sicilian and I'm from New Jersey)
From the title of this post you might wonder why I am referring to my incessant talking (often times I am aware, with a lingering central Jersey accent) as an "art".
I have found that in my 15 years of professional experience providing intervention services to families in crisis- my ability to talk has become not just a skill but an actual art.
By this I mean I have effectively talked SO much during interventions that the identified person of concern agrees to accept help and enter treatment simply to get me to stop.
I'm not kidding, this actually happened at least five times. (Including last month)
Several years back while facilitating an intervention, the person of concern stated to me; "Lady I will do anything and everything you want me to do, I will go anywhere if you will just stop talking" - Ok- done deal!
While there are some (husband for sure) who would likely prefer that I dial it down a notch and perhaps not talk quite as much- I am proud to say that there are some (families in crisis) who appreciate my hyper verbal skills.
All kidding aside- I do seem to have an uncanny ability to effectively persuade people to accept needed professional help- even when they start off extremely resistant to the suggestion.
In most cases it's likely not the actual words I say but the tone of how I convey them.
I pay attention to my language-I choose words intended to empower and avoid those which could be construed as judgmental or worse yet, shaming.
Much of my success with working with families is in how I coach THEM to learn how to communicate with their loved ones at their family intervention. Specifically, how to use their words wisely and when to stop talking (if things start to look non-constructive).
Talking in my humble opinion is an art, our words can inspire change and commitment or they can reinforce negativity.
And sometimes, when all else fails and a person’s life is literally on the line- you can count on me to talk people “into" treatment both literally and figuratively.
Call it rationalization- but I am (today) of the firm belief that my big mouth actually has saved lives….. I'm going with that.
Make it a great day!