Because if we can find common ground we won't feel as if we are adversaries- fighting against each other. We can feel we are on the same team- a much nicer, and more productive state!
Here's an example: say I'm working with Susan (totally random name- first thing I could come up with this morning...) who is significantly underweight and having a terrible time eating enough and not purging 2 times per day. So, we're talking, and I'm stating the obvious, that the way things are going isn't in her best interest. She's busy denying what I'm saying. We're getting nowhere. It's not fun for either of us.
It's true that it's real she's significantly underweight and that she's purging 2 times a day. AND, there are also other things that are simultaneously true- and I decide to focus on them for the moment. I say, "ok, let's see what else is true for you right now, because fighting about your weight is getting us nowhere. I think it's true that you feel scared and threatened. What do you think?" She gives me the look... but then she acknowledges that she is scared and feels threatened. And, by the way, she's majorly glad that I noticed this.
Yay for us!! We're now on common ground, working together on a common project- Susan's fear. We get to explore this fear and we come up with a bunch of helpful stuff, some of which has to do with why she's purging 2 times a day and having so much trouble eating. We got to where we needed to- dealing directly with the ED behaviors- and we also got to feel connected to each other and like we were partners. I'm not saying we changed Susan's weight or eating instantly. But, what we did do, was acknowledge a bunch of things that were real for her (we looked at things holistically, not solely focused on the narrow reality of the eating disordered behaviors).
Maybe the motto could be something like: look for common ground (realities you all can acknowledge are real) with those who care about you. And, try to notice everything that's real. And, everything that's real is worth exploring and acknowledging...
Ok, so that's 3 mottos... but that's ok, mottos are good :)