Stages of Change Webinar
Are you ready to change?
How ready is an individual for healing? As we interact with others, we find different stages of readiness for change. Some are willing to pursue whatever we may suggest while others hold back, weighing the consequences, and for some, change hasn’t even crossed their radar. Identifying these stages and realizing each stage solicits a different response from us as a helper is a critical part of helping others.
Do You Want to be Made Whole
Ten Strategies for Evoking Change
Cost/Benefits of Change
Okay, like I mentioned before, welcome. We’re gonna address the three steps here on the front slide there. What are the stages of change? How might I assess an individual state of change? And then to address them. But before we get into that, let’s look a bit at change.
Change isn’t as simple as what we would maybe we would like, necessarily. In John chapter five, Jesus encounters the lame man there at the Pool of Bethesda and he was too slow to get into the waters when they were moved to be healed. And, Jesus asks a very thought provoking question as he encounters him, he asks, would you like to be healed?
And at first blush, this seems like a common sense question for any lame man. Certainly healing is what they would desire. But Jesus was very astute in asking this question because there’s a lot that goes along with change. Was this man willing to leave the environment that he was familiar with?
He was going to find himself pretty soon, if he was healed, to have a completely different role in society, probably a different circle of friends. He might have to get a job. He could not necessarily expect people to give him money and means, and this would require a lot of change. And, the same is true for all of us and for those that we work with, our mentees.
Change is not always an easy yes or no. And so Jesus was very astute in asking, do you want to be made whole? And change really has a couple of parts to it. We read in Romans 12:2 that to be not conformed to this world, but be transformed or that changing, by the renewing of your mind and this transformation has a couple of parts to it. One is that the changing goes from one status to a different, into a new status. So change has two parts to it, you might say, it’s not just enough. Let’s use the example of smoking, for example. It’s not just to stop smoking. That’s not all the change that one needs if they have a smoking habit, but it’s a change away from smoking and to a new reality.
And so think about changes having two parts when we work with people. It’s not only a change from, but it’s also a change to. The other component is my part and God’s part when we have change. So if we consider this picture here of Jesus and this lame man. Certainly Christ was gonna do the heavy lifting of the change required, but he did ask for participation. He did ask for a willingness. He did ask for the will of this man to want change. And in all of the change that God works in our lives, there’s two parts to it. Certainly we have our cooperation with God brings about change. And so we don’t want to advocate some position here that change is a matter of formula and follow this and say these words and these questions and change certainly will happen.
We understand that change has a divine nature to it, the Holy Spirit bringing about change in our lives. But yet he asks for our willingness and our cooperation in that change. So hopefully that provides a little bit of forest for the trees when we talk about change, what we mean by change, and that sets up the topic. So Arlan, speak a little bit about what the stages of change are.
For sure. And, thanks for that introduction, Matt. Stages of Change has come from research within the counseling world where they have come to the basic conclusion, as Matt shared, that change is not simply a yes or no decision. I think we can sometimes approach individuals who are in the midst of some type of struggle and say, Why don’t you just change? Why don’t you just do this? Just say yes, you know? And actually it can almost get to the point where you are talking them into an emotional type decision when in reality they are not at that point, they are not ready to actually make the change. And it can frankly freeing for a helper to realize that there are two parts. There is their part and God’s part, and then the helper’s part to all kind of factor into that. And if a person is not changing and not making the progress that we want to see, sometimes it is their self-selecting or their choice to not be there, not be ready yet. And, that changes then our role as a helper.
And it moves us along a little bit in a different direction. So if you would look at the next slide, you’ll see the commonly laid out stages of change. They go from pre-contemplation to contemplation to preparation to action to maintenance. Five delineated changes stages and an individual will most likely fall on one of these stages on any given type of decision that they have to make. We’ll break these down a little bit further, but right now I want you to get that sense of a continuum. And realize that there’s that continuum out there.
And frankly, if you notice on the right hand side there in the area of change. So regarding change in a person’s life, sometimes the goal of a counseling session or a mentoring session is simply to keep moving the person down to the next stage of change. Again, a very freeing concept, I think, if we realize that because, at least in my world, I can get to this place where I think, okay, I’ve gotta get them all the way through the action plan and into a maintenance mode in two sessions. And the reality is it takes time sometimes, and the individual has to be willing to walk down that continuum. And there is great success sometimes when you have just moved the ball a little bit down the court and we have to rejoice in those small victories as they come.
So, Matt, why don’t we go ahead and talk into assessing where an individual would be at in these different stages. Then we can go from there.
Yeah. So, I guess you would say the first thing that one would do as you work with an individual is to really assess the individual’s readiness to change. Where are they on that spectrum or that continuum of stages of change? And so it’s a triage of sorts or an intake of sorts where you’re like, okay, where is this person at with certain issues in their life? So where do they fall on that continuum? So, here are some bullets that cast a little bit of flavor is that we might be looking for or listening for as it concerns issues that need to change or need to be addressed in a person’s life. Now remember, it might be very glaring to you. You know the issue X, Y, or Z needs to change. It might not be so much to them. So for example, in the pre-contemplation, if they don’t think they need to change or they don’t want to change, or they don’t think they can, they’re not going to even be contemplating change.
Okay. Those are kind of show stoppers for a person. Certainly, they don’t need to, it’s not on their radar or it might be on their radar, but just don’t have any desire to, they don’t think they can. And, we can get a sense for this with the questions that we ask as we engage them, try to get a sense, are they there with their particular issue?
Contemplation, you’ll notice, now moves the needle a little bit more. They want to, yet they don’t want. For example, an individual might have a vice and they want it to be different, but yet that vice is so ingrained in them. They don’t want to, they love it. You know, the smoking habit, they would love to not be a smoker, but they love the smoke, and so that’s where a person might be with contemplation. Notice that a contemplating person might have external motivation. So, a person, for example, that might have a porn addiction. The external motivation is there. They have pressures from the outside, whether it be a marriage, or whether it be children, or whether it be their work environment that’s like, yes, this needs to change.
Externally pressure is upon them, but yet again, they want to, but they don’t want to. It’s very much a part of them. They might start to consider pros and cons of changing though when they’re in the contemplation stage. So I would guess I would put your ear to the external motivation for a person who might be contemplating, because you’ll notice when they go to preparation, that motivation now goes internal.
We now go from an external motivation that now is internal where they are, yes, I do want to change. They start asking questions like, How is this gonna get done? They start to have a commitment towards action. They’re starting to commit to that. They’re willing to take a risk. They might be willing to consider, taking the pornography example, to put measures on their technology that they wouldn’t have been willing to before.
They might be willing to make some sort of changes in their life and consider, even though they might be hard or they might be, they might think embarrassing or whatever, they’re willing to take risks as they prepare for change. So we go from they can’t, they don’t want to, to external motivation, to internal motivation, and now action.
And the action stage is really pretty obvious. A person is in motion, they’re making changes. They’re walking trying to make progress. They’re responding to challenges. And they’re willing to learn new skills. And so this is very action oriented. So the action stage is pretty apparent. You know when you’re in it.
And then the maintenance is you’re working your plan, the action plan that you’ve set out, you’re working it and working against a relapse, and you’re making progress and you’re evaluating and providing feedback and you’re actively working. When we back pedal, we’re working on how to move that individual forward. And so that’s the maintenance stage.
So these things are supposed to just give you a little bit of taste on how might I assess a person at their appropriate level, because from here we’re gonna go now to addressing the individual at their particular stage of change.
All right. So, yes, and as we look into this, realize as we have shared here, one of the key takeaways is that it’s not a one size fits all. When you work with someone and when you are working with them, depending upon what stage they’re in or a stage of change, it’s gonna mean that your response, your appropriate level of engagement is going to shift and change as well. And, on the next slide, we show this as a continuum. So you have those same five stages of change listed out there. And then on the right hand side, this idea of the role of helper shifts from building rapport, maybe building the relationship, encouraging a connection, a dialogue, on down to, in that preparation phase, somewhere around there, you’re starting to educate and really teach and really encourage. And then down to the action and maintenance phases where it becomes more of offering support, maybe specific troubleshooting, those kind of things. At the beginning there, as we talked about, you are trying to build the head knowledge and encourage the head knowledge and then get it to shift into the heart knowledge or the actual action phase there.
So for each of these stages, we’ll just break out a couple of points to add further emphasis. At the top, there pre-contemplative, you might just be offering factual information about the problem. Perhaps you have the opportunity to discuss pros and cons, ask some of those big broad ranging questions, where do you hope to be five years from now?
And, if you continue with this, is that possible? Visioning at a high level, to use math examples, someone in pornography or some type of vice like that, help them to start to see that there is consequences for their action. Start to talk through some of those consequences.
The reality is most individuals in this phase will not even hardly realize it or acknowledge it. Or they might give very high level, say, oh yeah, I got it, without really meaning it at that point. But hopefully then as you continue to build that rapport, continuing to educate, continue just to have that relationship grow, that person seeing those consequences, thinking about those pros and cons, they can start to tip that scale towards realizing they need to make a change Help that constantly focus on their values, on their goals, like I shared before, but bring it a little bit more to home. If they’re married, have them start thinking about what do they want out of their marriage and what are they getting out of their marriage at this point.
Depending on what the issue is, what the situation is, keep helping build the intellectual head argument for that person. This will drive them towards that preparation stage, slowly but surely. And then your role shifts from educating and building that rapport, it shifts to removing barriers, identifying barriers, troubleshooting through barriers, and saying, okay, what is in the way?
What’s the drag is the term that Matt and I use often? What’s the drag against this change? What’s causing you to get up to the edge, so to speak, and then turn back. And are there ways to remove the barriers? One important thing at this point I would say is to have them think about the social network that they are part of.
You’ve probably been dealing a lot with the individual network at this, them as an individual. And now I think that at this point, the conversation lots of time shifts to, okay, what’s the social network they’re around, what’s their peer group? Is there peer group supporting or discouraging this change of behavior?
It can be a huge barrier to get them to continue down that road. What’s their environment look like? Where is it becoming a barrier for change that actually takes place? Come up with the beginnings of an action plan at this point, and walk that through with them. Then in the action phase that head knowledge has switched to heart knowledge, and that person is actually starting to engage in some type of active change.
Then your role shifts hard to encouragement. You become the cheerleader, you become the support anchor. I would probably predict at this point your involvement is gonna get a little bit more intense. It’s gonna be a little bit more of a frequency, the texting and that kind of a thing is gonna pick up because that person is actively trying to change and they need you to help hold their hand and encourage them and, frankly, help them get up again if they stumble or if they fall just a little bit as they’re engaging in this new way of life.
And then the last stage then is that maintenance piece where there’s a key teaching piece here. There’s where you teach and encourage your mentee, whoever you’re helping, that setbacks will come. There will be obstacles still. The six month window, the 12 month window, the one month window sometimes are key windows when a person who is making good progress might have a slide back moment and predicting that. What is your fire escape as they call it sometimes? What’s your backup plan? What’s your, if you fall, what are you going to do? How are you going to get back up? Again, a heavy role of support, but proactively thinking ahead to keeping this change lasting and keeping the action phase going.
So hopefully you’ve seen and watched that progression. The role of the helper will shift as the stage of change of the mentee or those being helped shifts as well. And each is valuable, each is important, but what’s key is, after you’ve assessed that stage to match your action with that stage, don’t be trying to come up with a fail safe backslide recovery plan when that person is still up in the contemplative stage and doesn’t even know if they wanna change, that could actually scare them away and think, oh, this is never gonna work.
We need to think it through and be willing to adjust our approach appropriately, and be encouraged again when this person begins to make just baby steps forward, that is a victory in itself. Go ahead Matt. You wanna talk through some of the resources?
Yeah, we’ve got a few resources here that you might find helpful that match some of these stages. So for example, let’s suppose a person is the pre-contemplation stage and some of what Arlan mentioned will ring true when you look at some of these questions. But, just the concept of exploring goals and values. What this is basically, what do you want out of life? What values are most important to you? So if you’ve got issue A on your mind and it’s not even on their radar and you know that issue A needs to be addressed, how do you get them thinking about issue A? Sometimes by asking questions like this; what values are important to you? You’re gonna see some incongruency like, okay, family is really important to this person, yet this very destructive family behavior is happening.
And so now we have something that we can address or get that person thinking in that space where they can see their behavior is not in step with what is important to them and where they would like to see themselves, as Arlan said, in five years or whatnot. Looking back is another way to help a person think about it.
So ask about a time before the current concern emerged. How have things been better in the past before issue A was in their life. Having them recall the past before issue A was present is one way to do that as well as looking forward. Again, if things don’t change and we just go the status quo here, what may happen if this habit just becomes an addiction or becomes a way of life? Or have a person play that scenario out in their life and they will come to some conclusions that perhaps issue A or whatever it is, needs to change. How would you like your life to be in the future? This is, I think, one area that as believers, we can come alongside a person and really help cast vision. This is a very optimistic stage where you can help them think about things they’ve never thought about. What does the overcoming life look like? Cast the joys of the overcoming life. Very frequently people have way too low of a view of the Christian life. In their mind it’s a bunch of do and don’t, and this issue might just be a bur under their saddle.
Help them see bigger and more large than that. The Christian life is wonderfully joyous and very fulfilling and Christ is sufficient. All of those things, are just really low hanging fruit, I think, as we work with people. I think this is a very clever way to address best and worst case scenarios.
So what are the worst things that might happen if I don’t change? Go down that, right. What this is gonna actually do, if you remember, it’s going to start to maybe push them on the exterior motivation. If I don’t change, I could develop an addiction and really hurt somebody and find myself in trouble with the law or in jail.
I mean, if I seek a worst case scenario, I can see the impact and now all of a sudden we’re starting to get some external motivation that’s starting to now press upon a person saying, you know what, maybe you should contemplate change. Or what are the best things that might happen if you do make the change? Again, helping them envision life overcoming.
So as we move into the contemplation stage, here might be a resource that you could. Where it’s just a continuum, on a scale of 1 to 10, how ready are you to tackle this issue? One, not ready at all, all the way to 10, very telling. And if a person marks a three, then it helps us know at what level or what we should be addressing help. Now my sessions and my time with this individual are more geared towards how do I help them become ready? Or, if they don’t have any hope in change, how might I help them see that there is hope? And this is wonderfully, we have the gospel to share with people and certainly hope is at the center of the gospel.
And so we have a great tool and wonderful answers for people who are not ready and who do not have hope. To what degree are they afraid of life without this vice? Very, very telling. We start to see why change is so difficult, because if they are very afraid of life, they cannot envision life without this fix or without this vice or without this addiction.
It’s a very scary thing to change or we can see why contemplation of change is difficult. But there again, how can we speak the gospel into their life to help them with this item of fear? Do they see that God is more fulfilling than this vice or this fix that they have in their life? Again, just continuums to help think, do you want to be made whole?
That was the question Christ asked the lame man, do you want to be made whole? This could be a live document. What I mean by live is it’s always open. The mentee can mark on this always, where are you at today? Where are you at next week, let’s pull this out again. Have we moved this ticker at all? And this could be a live document that they’re continually thinking through. It would be very telling.
Another good contemplation resource is this one here. And all of these resources we’re gonna have there on the website where we showed you there. It will be, along with the link to this webinar video. We’ll have these documents that you could pull off and print and use.
But this cost analysis really is what this is. There our pros and benefits to change and there are costs to change. And if I make the change, what are the pros? What are the costs? And if I don’t change, what are the pros and what are the costs? It is amazing how persuasive words on a page are to a person. For them to simply put these concepts down and these quadrants, has been known to be very influential in helping a person in this contemplation stage to really settle upon their need to move forward because the quadrants will be very telling and their words on the quadrant will be very telling.
As we move to preparation, here again is another resource. Again, these are very vague questions, but just kind of buckets to think about as a person is saying, okay, I’m ready. I want to change. What is this plan of success going to be? And we also need to have a plan for a relapse. And that’s an important point as we are realistic about what change means.
What is it again, am I not going to do? But that’s not enough to decide what I’m not going to do. What is it that I’m going to do? And then specifically, so if I’m not going to smoke, well, what is it that I’m not going to do that’s helped me not to smoke? And what am I going to do to help with this vice that I have in my life?
And then when I am tempted in backslide, what is going to be my plan. Accountability, quick confession, I’m gonna reach out in times of temptation. When I relapse, I’m going to alert these individuals in my life and this is what I’m going to do, right? And so we work on that and that’s a part of the plan as we prepare for change. Those are simply resources that get us to that point of action. Once we’re on the action stage, it’s not easier, but in some ways you know what to do in that stage because the ball is rolling. The cart is rolling down the hill and now you can start to direct it because it’s moving.
But getting it to move is quite a challenge. So hopefully these resources can help just prime the pump with good questions and ways for you to think about how I might get an individual there. So what we’re gonna do now, I’m gonna turn it over to Arlan and we’re gonna look at an example and kind of play this example out.
So Arlan, how do you wanna do this? Why don’t you, can you unmute everyone so they’re able to share and talk. We’re gonna give you a quick quiz. I hope you were listening because you’re on the spot now for the answers for the test here. So, we have a scenario here we’d like to play out here and just the hypothetical scenario.
And I’ll walk through different phases of change at this point. And I’d love to hear thoughts from whoever wants to share this. What would be a strategy, you are a mentor, helping this person. For each phase stage of change, what’s your role and what do you wanna ask them or what would be something you can do to get them, again, the goal is to go down to the next level of change.
So we have Jack here. Jack is a 32 year old father. He’s got three young kids at home. Most nights of the week, Jack comes home from work and he absorbs himself completely in online gaming, disappears, just absorbs himself in that world. This vice is causing strain on his marriage, as you can imagine, his fathering, and his own personal spiritual growth. He seems to be, he would describe himself as stagnant, at this point. And, he has been recommended to you to be a mentee. You spent some time with him getting to know him, starting to, and you’ve uncovered this much detail at this point.
So, anyone if you’d like to share. If you start talking with Jack and just have a little bit of a dialogue with him and you bring up this idea of gaming and he just shrugs his shoulders and says, what do you mean? What stage is he in your mind and what would be a appropriate role of action?
Arlan, this is Todd. Yep. Well, I think the first thought you would have, I would just be to get Jack to understand maybe that there’s even a problem, or is there a problem, does he realize that there’s a problem? And so maybe just getting him to open his eyes a little bit to even consider that this might be causing a problem in his marriage or his being a dad or obviously growing spiritually. I mean, just getting him to understand. That’d probably be the first thought I would have is and the first sit down would be just even, Jack do you realize there’s anything going on out there or you lost in this gaming world? I think that’s exactly right, Todd.
Anybody have any ideas? Like what would be some questions you could even start asking to just start even getting down that route? I think the fact being older, I would, the one thing that comes to my mind is, how’s this gonna affect your kids down the road? I mean, do you think it’s gonna affect your kids? I mean, I’m older, I’ve got older kids now, so you look back and you maybe see time that’s been lost and not spent wisely in some of those, whatever it would’ve been, whether it been gaming or anything else. But, try to give a little bit of perspective of where is this going?
Yep. And I even wonder, go ahead, Matt. Yeah, well, I was just gonna say, and here’s I think a key thing. How can you help Jack come to those conclusions and make those connections? And I think that’s sometimes the tricky part is we can say, Hey, listen, I can tell you what this is doing to your family and that has some impact. But some of the questions on this slide here, can help us ask the questions for Jack to come up to some of those same conclusions, which is more powerful. So I’m curious, what question, these are just question stems, which if any of these seem to grab you in a way that says, I could ask of this question and go from there.
This is open to anybody too. I hear Todd and Michelle there, but anybody can jump in. Let me throw one question out to you that I was thinking of. You might even just start with the idea of, Jack, tell me about your children. Tell me about your relationship with your chldren, what’s the typical evening look like when you come home. What do your kids like, dislike? Some of those type of questions where you’re actually are asking about the children to begin to, sow the seed that, hey, maybe I don’t know them as well as I should, or maybe I’m not spending much time with them.
Again, you see the idea here. You’re starting to bring lights to what is a fairly dark area, I think, in a person’s conscience. They’re not even realizing there is potentially something wrong here. Other thoughts, other ideas? One of the other things that come to mind is, a lot of times in dealing with young men, I typically will ask them about their relationship with their own dad.
Try to formulate a little bit of an idea of maybe what they think being a father supposed to be like, and it’s very telling, for them to tell us and share with us what their background was maybe as they were being raised. Sometimes those things fall in line where maybe their dad was absent, was maybe in whatever way that would be, whether it was work, really absent. It’s interesting sometimes to get that correlation. Cuz again, like you maybe mentioned, Jack might not really think he’s doing anything wrong. And yet, I think their kids, as the kids grow up, they get to a point where start resent that dad was always, he obviously loved his video games more than they loved. You spend a lot of time with them and very little with me and I think we all know where that’s gonna head down the road as they get older and look back on life and maybe their relationship with your dad. I think you’re right on. And, as I think about these questions here, if we were to ask, Jack, what’s most important to you?
Just, listen to your priorities. You said God, and my wife and my children and all of those things come out, and he might very well believe his gaming actually benefits that vision. He might say, Hey, listen, if I don’t do this, I’m irritable and I find myself yelling at my kids.
I actually feel like this actually makes me a nicer dad and husband. Right. And isn’t that interesting? Right. Of course he’s not contemplating change because this is in step with his values and so, but that’s good and helpful information for us because if I’m assuming that he understands that this is a vice in his life then it’s a complete disconnect.
And so then we help him see that there is a even better way to fulfill his priorities to his wife and his children than the gaming. Right. And,I think one other point with this, and I wanna move on to another stage, but just realize too, there’s just a great value in just you’re building a relationship at this point too.
You know, if a person is in that place, and the first few sessions might just be about being together, getting to know each other, building that relationship, spending time together so that then you can engage in more heavy lifting a little bit further down the road. And maybe it’s a matter of, and you have to use this a little bit sparingly, but exposing an individual to healthy relationships around them if he thinks he has a healthy relationship.
Perhaps as you begin to do some comparison or contrast to other healthy relationships that around him that can start to get some light bulbs to turn on. But the Spirit, however, this is God’s work too. Let the Spirit begin to gnaw at him a little bit. Let’s go on though. Let’s say that he, at that point where he’s starting to prepare, he’s starting to realize, okay, I realize I have a problem.
I would like to change. How do I do it? It seems like a mountain, how do I start to give up this behavior? Maybe a little bit more of that preparation stage. How would you see the shift? What would be some strategies that you would do or use? Anybody.
Maybe helping think about something to do instead of gaming. That’s a great thought. That was you, Brad, right? Needs to be replaced. Not just a void. Jesus used that example when one demon is cast out of a person and it’s swept and cleaned and it’s not filled with the Holy Spirit. And it’s that put off, put on.
It’s that put off, put on concept. And, I love that point because he might be thinking very practically, okay, I spend four hours a night gaming, suddenly I’ve got four hours open. What am I gonna do? And to start to help realize there’s a lot of options out there of things like that.
Other thoughts? What other barriers, if someone is viewing this as a mountain, it’s big, it’s hard, what else could be a piece to start to unravel with them? I think one thing to think about is sometimes when a person knows they need to change, sometimes they’re not very creative on what change looks like and what the baby steps are for change, and that’s where we can help them say, okay, maybe it’s a time thing.
Maybe it could be something like this. Does your wife ask you to get off, like every night do you play until she says, all right, come on, stop and whatever. How about this? How about you have a goal that she doesn’t ask you to stop, but you stop before she asks? What you’re now doing is you’re not taking away the game.
No, I’m not taking, I’m asking you to step into this stage and take control of it. Right? And what does that control look like in baby size steps and where we hit benchmarks and we can see ourselves making progress over time. That could be very relieving to an individual when they realize that okay, alright, I can see now that this is a journey here of change. And, sometimes they’re not creative enough to know what those benchmarks are. Or to compliment that a little bit, Matt, just the idea that, okay, if it’s four hours a night, how about this week we try to go down to three hours a night, in a couple weeks, let’s go down to two hours a night.
You start to wean yourself away a little bit and then fill in, backfill that time with other activities or other things. You wanna break that mountain down in some bite size chunks, so to speak. Other thoughts in the preparation stage. I like that idea. I like what you just said cuz it’s easy for me to wanna take somebody from, here’s your problem, and here’s the answer without maybe trying to walk ’em through that.
And maybe at times that does feel like, well, that’s no plan at all, because I can’t go from A to Z that fast and they don’t even try. I do appreciate that thought. I dunno if I’ve got more, but I do appreciate that thought of thinking. It helps me to back down, tap the brakes a little bit when you try to come in and fix somebody quick or help somebody. And if you are a fixer, this becomes the more fun stage. Someone is in this, okay, they’re getting ready to wanna be fixed, right? So you can start to strategize and brainstorm and come up with a plan. This is a lot more fun for a fixer than way back in the precontemplative stage when you’re just thinking, oh man, why can’t we even get off square one?
Now, so our role has shifted. Now we’re educating, we’re encouraging, we’re becoming that coach. So, Jack starts this change. He starts to go down this route. You’re seeing great progress. He’s excited. He’s in this and now he’s in what we would call the active change stage or even into that maintenance stage.
What do we do now? What does it look like as a mentor helping him at this point? Let me ask that question just a little bit differently though, too. What does it not look like for a mentor in this maintenance piece? One thing that I think of guys, is, I think this is a hard state for me because is it too much?
Am I contacting him too much? Am I bringing it up too much? Am I encouraging him too much or do I let it go too long and then I think I don’t care. I think it’s a really hard balance sometimes to know when you start to see action. I know everybody needs some, I see the encourage there in action, but like, how much and how is it overdone?
Is it not enough? I think it’s really hard to find that balance. It’s so unique to the person too. It’s hard to answer that question. That’s a key tension though, that you hit on, Todd, and I really appreciate you bringing that out. And what I would say to some extent, what it does not look like is that, okay, you’ve checked this one off your list and move on to the next one because they started to make active change.
I mean, that to me would be one of the few things that would be the wrong approach, the complete wrong approach. I think we enter into it with the realization of that tension, being willing to encourage and be available, but also not holding their hands necessarily, but also provide that realistic view that, okay, here’s the plan.
When you fall, a just man falls seven times and he rises again. When you fall, we’ll get back up. We’ll keep at it, we’ll tackle it again. That’s what I have seen at least in some of the roles that I have found myself in. It becomes a key balance there of not too much, but also not too little.
And, you shift to just this role of available as needed. Any other thoughts or any other perspectives as we just on any of ’em really, frankly, or any of the scenario as we bring this to a close. Arlan I might mention, they’re at the action and maintenance stage. I think one thing that the mentor needs to do is to be astute about progress, astute about things that are going well.
I think there’s a tendency for a mentee, for example, to recall all of the failures. So for example, you meet with them and they’re very cognizant of the failures and they don’t even see progress and that’s a very challenging thing, especially when a person always is confessing to you or always coming and saying, oh, you know, because you miss all of those silent days when good things are happening.
But, you don’t know. And so I find it to be a real challenge. In fact, sometimes I tell the individual, listen, I want you to reach out to me with a victory. That’s your assignment this week. I want you to know when there was victory, and I want you to alert me when it happens just so that we can rejoice together.
And it’s the wind in the sails that you need as a mentor as well. So I don’t know. That’s a tough, great point, Matt. Any other thoughts or any other comments as we wanna be mindful of time and keep on time here. Just to repeat and encourage, as we started at the beginning here, change is a process.
There are different stages, different levels of change and individuals come to us in those different phases and it’s healthy to take some time to evaluate, to think that through and then to appropriately address, according to the phase of change that we find this individual in. We have a host of resources there that we shared, that Matt shared with you.
We will take this recorded webinar and those resource