I love the meaning, but I am tired of the phrase "[to] meet someone where they are." This phrase is synonymous with social work and many helping professions, so I hear it at least a few times a month. Does anyone know of an English word that I can use in place of this trite phrase?
In his article Against “Meeting People Where They Are”, Tom Beaudoin initially defines “meeting people where they are” as
a pastoral translation of something like a theologically “correlational” approach to ministry. By “correlational” in academic theology, we mean an approach that tries to connect, or “correlate,” something significant from life (here, popular music) with something significant from faith (for example, a religious concept or biblical text).
So correlational is one possibility.
However, later in the same article, Beaudoin goes on to conclude:
Maybe, then, an even better revision of the phrase would be: “Meeting people where neither of us are,” to signify that a true “meeting” will open up something beyond whether either person started.
Seen in this light, perhaps co-relational might be an apt rendering of the phrase.
building on the person's strengths
means approximately the same thing. It means you start where the person is functioning well, with a lot of confidence, and branch out from there into less confident territory.
Also, adj: strength-based, e.g. "taking a strength-based approach".