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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Letting Go

"I share my thoughts so that they can benefit from my experience," he said.

"Did they ask for your thoughts?"

"Well no, but people don't always know what to ask for.  They need help."

"Okay.  Let's look at it from their side.  How might your thoughts influence their choice, their decision?"

"Well, I want my thoughts to influence them!"

"Right.  So, who is taking responsibility for whose life in this."

"You frustrate me, Vince."

"I know.  Do you want to keep going even while frustrated?"

"Of course."

"Okay.  So, when I share what I think, or even ask a clarifying question, I am almost always at some level trying to influence behavior. What if I let go of my need to influence, and instead allowed the other person to pursue their own options, their own choice?"

"Well, they might screw up."

"Indeed.  There is that risk.  What else might happen?"

"They might succeed.  I hate you, Vince."

"I know.  It sounds like you just connected a dot.  When we allow others to make their own choices, then their wins are their wins.  They are owning their own life.  They are becoming leaders.  They are successful because of their own effort and resolve."

"So, I just have to stay quiet?

"Not necessarily.  But perhaps pause first.  Allow them to develop their own options.  Ask some good questions.  Be non-judgmental and non-defensive.  Some people resonate with the idea of "accompanying" someone on their journey.  Because, at the end of the day, it is their journey."

And, on it goes.