There is no doubt that the idea of switching from being more of a ‘telling’ person to an ‘asking’ person raises some valid concerns for people. One of the most frequent ones that get raised with me is that it is the other person expectation that you will play the role of being:
• The expert
• The problem solver or fixer
• The solution provider
Of course, the concern then becomes that if you don’t fulfil their expectations they will feel let down or disappointed. So it’s not surprising then that people often feel under pressure to comply with others’ expectations and be more of a ‘teller’.
Conversely, let’s also remember that there are your own expectations of yourself that need to be considered here too. We often don’t realize that we identify ourselves often by being the fixer or the person with lots of wisdom and knowledge and so the very idea that we stop doing so much of this can be quite confronting. Indeed, we will often make excuses to ourselves to justify why it is OK for us to continue to tell as it makes us feel both valued and needed by others, which meets some of our basic human needs.
So I am going to suggest that there are two considerations here to move towards being more of an asker or as we like to say, a Potentialiser:
1. How you can best manage the expectations of other people who want or think they want you to be a ‘teller ’/advisor/fixer?
Suggestion: Consider being honest with the person about what you are doing and why you are doing it. By communicating your intentions there is a good chance that the expectation can be changed quickly and easily
2. How you can manage the expectations of yourself to not always jump in and ‘help’ people in the way that you always have done?
Suggestion: Consider challenging yourself to look at your interpretation of how you best help or support people. If you continue to believe that telling is always helpful you will want to keep doing it. If you program your thinking to appreciate that telling is often unhelpful and indeed if often disrespectful then there is every chance that those internal expectations of self will align nicely with your now conscious way of being
The most important point here though is that often unconscious thinking may inhibit your abilities so please ensure that you give adequate consideration to both of these issues on your quest to be a successful Potentialiser!
You are welcome to share your own thoughts and ideas with us at our community forums.