How many of you have had similardriving test experiences with your aging folks as I did with my father when he was turning 88?
Given a rapidly-growing senior population that needs re-testing, I would have to imagine the answer is lots of you! Never mind that the whole topic of driving and its spider-like off-shoots is one of THE most contentious amongst un-cope-able elder challenges! Good grief!
You saw the real McCoy Driver’s Handbook – practically a Bible by which my Dad held himself and other road occupants. Would you like to know what happened next in the license renewal saga?
Using my sleuthing skills…
Here’s why I zoom in on two theories.
Number one, my father would never permit anyone to hold anything but the most arrogant opinion of his driving prowess. To describe him as less than “Bill the [summer] Truck Driver who [in his imagination] single-handedly won WWII by driving engine mounts to the plant manufacturing Lancaster Bombers of WWII Fame” would’ve destroyed his ego beyond recognition. I’m not joking!
Second, he was adamant about having “a thing or two to teach that guy [the instructor] about driving who doesn’t even own a vehicle for Pete’s sake”. I can readily envision my father becoming so incensed at having to submit a fifth time to a mandatory lecture he stridently believed necessary only for unworthy peons, that he was expelled from class!
You need to bring it all to the table.
You can start to see why I felt like a detective! You, too, will need the finest intelligence. This means asking plenty of open-ended questions. Think back on all those communication skills training programs you’ve attended.
Let’s also recall Laughter as a means to right-size otherwise completely exasperating circumstances. Do you permit me and family members the total roar we had over a retired school principal being thrown out of class for belligerence? That one was good for about fifteen minutes of straight belly laughs!!
Notice how Neutrality (so that your buttons don’t get pushed by what you hear) andOpenness (to allow you to take in the full picture) will come in exceptionally handy when you Clarify.
Do you continue to see how the BEING Attitudes and DOING ACTIONS go hand-in-hand?
As a bridge into the actions of Trust and Observe, I determined through careful listening and focused questions that the most likely explanation regarding the failed driving test was…