Crucial Skills®

A Blog by Crucial Learning

Trainer Insights

How can I help participants connect Sucker’s Choice to Start with Heart?

Barbara HauserBarbara Hauser is a Master Trainer.

Q How can I help participants connect Sucker’s Choice to Start with Heart? How would you explain how to take the concept of Sucker’s Choice back to proper motives?

A Start with Heart is a powerful principle that encourages participants to do some deep reflection, and at the same time it provides handy thinking tools to use in the heat of a crucial conversation. To link the two, I like to suggest that we really want to take what’s buried beneath a veneer of defensive behaviors and attitudes—that is, our good motives, long-term objectives and desire to work and live collaboratively with others—and make it visible. That way we have a better chance of acting on our best motives, especially when the stakes are high. Working to transform the Sucker’s Choice into a creative new way of looking at our options is also a way of clarifying our motives and seeing the real essence of what we want.

I was working with a woman recently who was having trouble reaching her goal of having an organized, clutter-free home office. It sounded like a reasonable and even simple goal. Having tried and failed many times, though, she was stuck! As she worked through this principle she realized that she had two objectives: On the one hand, she wanted a space that reflected the best of the work she’s capable of doing. On the other hand, she wanted to avoid confronting her husband—a self-proclaimed pack rat! When she reframed her situation to refuse the Sucker’s Choice, she found out that her real motive was to have a smooth, uncluttered working relationship with her husband where they could talk out things that were bothering them and reach decisions they would both support. She found that by just acknowledging the Sucker’s Choice she got much greater clarity for herself—and she could have the right conversation for the right reason.

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