Leading with Empathy - Step #13
When charged with a crime in Michigan, it feels like the end of the world; your life is on pause, and you now await the hammer coming down.
While this is the default mindset, I work with my clients to turn their criminal case into a calling; an opportunity to find purpose and demonstrate through positive mindset that magic can happen from one of the worst moments in your life.
Your case does not need to go like 99.9 percent of people charged with crimes; turn this moment into a strength and opportunity by finding your purpose; find your mission in life from your darkest moment and turn this incident into a calling.
A client who clarifies their purpose turns a criminal case into a life changing moment; don't run from conflict, but rather embrace it. This case is about YOU, not the prosecutor or judge; real change only happens through conflict; it gets your attention; use that conflict to change your life.
A comfort-centered mindset maintains the status quo; this mindset means "surviving" a case and not making any real changes in your world. Conflict is part of growth, and it's not supposed to be easy. A comfort-centered approach is not going to help a client in the long-term; they will never understand how they ended up on the wrong side of the law, and likely return in a worse situation.
A purpose driven client is willing to endure conflict to create a better world for themselves and their family; this client sees things differently and they don’t run from conflict.
Such amazing outcomes are not facilitated by the court system; the court is NOT going to help you change; they may say that punishing you in a default/what everyone else gets way is helpful to you, but it is not. You already knew right from wrong before you committed a crime; being punished and knocked over the head is not going to change your life for the better.
Just because this doesn’t already exist, it doesn’t mean we cannot create it. A contributive desire to make your world and those around you better which leads with purpose is more effective than ego goals of "I want the best result". The problem with the ego goals is the best result is likely not available depending on what you believe that is, and it’s not going to be listed on a menu to select. A client must create the best outcome for themselves; this is not a system curated toward the person charged with a crime.
We must inspire those with formal power to embrace our journey and focus on the process rather than the outcome. The outcome on many cases can look similar, but the process is where the magic happens. Once we find purpose and shift to a long-term mindset, the true outcome of the case means less, and we understand that the journey is where the change happens.
A court likes to focus on problem solving, because a person charged with a crime is a "problem"; my clients shift to purpose finding from day one. Clarification of purpose can be integrated across our entire life through our career, family and future goals.
Real life example of finding your purpose
I work with a lot of clients with multiple drunk driving convictions in their history. When this client returns to a court with a new drunk driving case, the default approach for the judge and prosecutor is to treat this person as a problem, because drunk driving is a major issue in every community.
I do not fault this mindset, because all would agree that driving drunk is problematic, but when we zoom in on an individual case, is this the right approach?
To treat each person as the same problem. My goal for a client in this position is to help them find purpose and understand why they keep coming back to court for the same issue. Some would say being tough and rough with drunk drivers is the best approach; has that worked? Not really.
This repeat offender will endure many of the same outcomes no matter if we treat it as a problem vs purpose, but if we have empathy for the client, and make purpose part of the equation, it is likely to create better result for both sides and stand a better chance of stopping this behavior. A client who finds purpose from this challenging case and takes on conflict vs seeking comfort will benefit greatly from the process and journey of changing their life and finding purpose.