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July 10, 2012 / rosieohara

Meet me at My Cancer Bus Stop


In the LAB (Language and Behaviour Profile) Shelle Rose Charvet 1, talks about ‘meeting the person at their bus stop and getting them to come with you’.
So what do I do to use the LAB Profile when I got my diagnosis of breast cancer?
In 2009 I was faced with a man whose previous two wives had died as a result of cancer, who went into meltdown on me and I really had to nip that in the bud, so being Proactive (for me that’s a bit like Tigger) and weighing up my Options this is an analysis of what I did.
1. With hindsight I realise that on 26th January 2009 when I really needed Jim on my side, I will have used phrases like ‘we need to prevent things from getting worse’, ‘help me get rid of these problems’, ‘I can’t do this on my own’, ‘this is how I want to fix it so that it won’t deteriorate’ and ‘I refuse to deal with this again, so I’m changing my diet, I’m avoiding negative people and what they have to say’.
2. In my head I was saying to me ‘the positive consequences of this will be . . .’, ‘the advantages of this way of speaking are [I’ll get him on my side by speaking about avoiding problems]’, ‘I’m interested in the benefits for me and Jim’ and ‘my goal is to have something to look forward to and get that, my compelling purpose, being with Jim, being with my grandsons and being there for their Mum’.
To me, problems, mountains, obstacles are there to be got round or I want to make a hole in wall, build a door and get through things, so the language in the first paragraph is not mine in respect of getting well, in some contexts, I do think about what I want to avoid, not this one J Apart from staying in hospital for too long.
3. I also asked Jim to think it through and understand the situation from my point of view (asking him to listen was inappropriate at this point – I needed him to see clearly something he can do and I needed to get him out of his feelings and to look up and see our future). He needed to consider.
4. When all I wanted to do was just go for it, jump in, now, get it done, make it happen.
5. I said I knew there was very much a right way for the medical profession, that it was tried and tested, and that there was a process and a step by step, but this was about me
6. And I wanted other alternatives, there might have been something else useful, and I wanted to look at the possibilities.
And because I matched Jim’s language patterns first and then gave him mine, in a very short space of time, he supported me and he still does. Even this morning, as I was leaving the house to go to my Pilates class (on time for once) and he asked me to do something for him and I begrudgingly did it for him (because as he said I can do it better than he can) and I told him I was annoyed (I hate being late for other people and I hate it when others do that to me in a training session and I was annoyed at me), Jim said with a twinkle in his eyes ‘yes well we have wordies and then it’s alright isn’t it?’ Strong stuff this language.
In the LAB Profile, the language in the paragraph 1 is Away From, in 2 it’s Towards. Paragraph 3 is Reactive language and 4 is Proactive, whereas 5 is about Procedures and 6 is about Options. My rule of thumb for identifying another person’s language patterns is – whatever language or reaction is painful for you (when said or carried about by another person), this is someone using the opposite of the language you use. Meet them at their bus stop and they’ll come with you and life will be easier (trust me on this one).

1) Shelle has written two books, Words That Change Minds and The Customer is Bothering Me, both using the Language and Behaviour Profile . The former has been by my side and in my training and daily life for many years. As a trainer and consultant of the LAB Profile, I have really walked my talk many times with this form of language use.

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