As coaches and leaders, we have to make decisions that aren’t easy. We have to discipline those we lead when called for. If we want to stand for something and make them better than they would be otherwise we are going to have confront behavior that is not up to the standards we believe in. At the same time we want to have relationships with them. We want them to know we are on their side and not an enemy. How can we do it? Divide and conquer. A few thoughts on this:
- Divide the person from the behavior. This is often the most difficult to do. You may not like someone’s behavior, but you can still like the person. See them as they could be and love them until they become it as much as in your power to do so. Most relationships are damaged when we fail to see that what they’ve done isn’t all they are.
- Divide the person from the situation leading to the behavior. I heard a long time ago that in areas of temptation/struggle it’s easier to trust your steering rather than your brakes. It’s easier to avoid a bad situation rather than stop once in it.
- Divide the person and the false belief. Many of the behaviors that sabotage young people come out of false beliefs about who they are and what will bring happiness. If we can come alongside and show them a better way we can address the cause, not just symptom.
See the end you want in the beginning. You want to see growth occur without burning a bridge to get there. There will be times they may burn the bridge beyond your ability to prevent it but as much as it on us, we can approach them in a way that respects standards and people. Divide the person from the problem then conquer the problem.