We need to stop being helpful.
Trying to be helpful and giving advice are really just ways to control others.
Advice is a conversation stopper…we should substitute curiosity for advice.
Do not tell people how you handled the same concern in the past. Do not immediately offer the text book solution to the problem – unless you want to kill creativity, enquiry and insight.
Do not ask questions that have advice hidden in them, such as “have you ever thought of talking to the customers directly?”
Often people will ask for advice. The ‘request for advice’ is how we surrender our independence. If we give in to this request we have affirmed their dependnece on us; their belief that they do not have the capacity to create the world from their own resources; and more importantly, we have supported their escape from their own freedom.
For more on this I would recomend almost anyhtingby Peter Block – but especially:
Community – The structure of belonging – Peter Block
“One of the basic elements of the relationship between oppressor and oppressed is prescription. Every prescription represents the imposition of one individual’s choice upon another, transforming the consciousness of the person prescribed to into one that conforms with the prescriber’s consciousness.”
Pedagogy of the Oppressed – Paulo Friere
“It was wonderful! Incredibly powerful – just to be listened to.”
Participant on an Introduction to Enterprise Coaching Programme.