Friday, July 15, 2016

Mind your business, not theirs

Even when I’m watching people make foolhardy and potentially dangerous decisions, I resist the temptation to intervene and vomit my wisdom and experience all over them. 

Because that rarely improves the situation. Turns out, when you take responsibility away from people, you steal their choices. When you steal people’s choices, you rob them of the dignity of their own experience. And when you rob them of the dignity of their own experience, you take away their chance to claim success as their own. 

That’s where resentment grows. 

This attempt to teach can be perceived as a form of judgment and rejection. And meanwhile, you’re wondering why people aren’t receiving the gifts in the way that you want them to. 

One of my clients is the human resources director at a chain of hotels. She uses a powerful mantra with her employees, one that I practice when the value adding instinct starts to well up inside of me:

People don’t need solutions, they need space. 

And so, instead of leaping in to people’s lives to drop wisdom bombs like some kind of obsessive mental health superhero, I remember not to make a fuss. I remember to just let people transform themselves. Even if that results in an uncomfortable pause in the conversation, I try to accept what comes from silence, make the best I can of it and act in the service of what’s emerging. 

I mind my business, not theirs. 

Are you committing the moral injustice of stealing people’s decisions?

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

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