Archive for the ‘permission’ Category

Requesting

March 7, 2008

Requesting There are two interesting measures of your power in the world and when you look at where we are with each of them, you can see how we rob ourselves.  And both of them deal with requesting.   The first is our ability to say “no” to requests made of us and, perhaps, simply measuring the number of those requests made of us. And the second is our ability to make requests of others. Of course, they’re related.  But let’s deal with them as if separate.  Here are some of the consequences of not being able to say no.  You rob yourself of the ability to contribute.  You feel that you’re being taken advantage of, that people are using you.  You have this sense of being a martyr; resentment builds.  And you have to hide all of that and are not even able to complain about it.  How can you, you said yes? How many noes will it take for you to be free of this?  I think only one.  The most important thing to see is that you aren’t saying no to the person, you’re saying no to the request.  We get the two mixed up.  When you observe that the requestor still feels the same about you, you’re cured, or at least have begun the cure.  Practice.  Oh, yes.  Here’s a crucial adjunct.  Just say no.  Do not give a reason.  You demean yourself by explaining.  In business, you always have to have a CYA statement.  No one believes you; they only believe your reason; it keeps you small. Now, since you feel that way about saying no, you must feel that that’s how someone will feel if you make a request of them.  You don’t want them to feel abused, resentful, obligated to you, and so forth.  You simply don’t want to impose.  Going hand in glove with that is wanting to do it all, and do it all yourself, wanting to live up to a foolish standard of perfection – a combination of Superman and the Lone Ranger.  You rob them of their ability to contribute.  You actually think it’s easier to do it by yourself and you keep finding out it isn’t.  You complain about not enough time, never a minute to yourself.  You feel powerless. How can you learn to make requests?  You can make a request when you know the answer will be no.  Or you can make a request when you know the answer will be yes.  Or both.  Notice their reactions.  Notice yours.  How long will this take?  Maybe forever.  It won’t necessarily go away.  It may go away about certain area, but not with others.  Play.

Advertisements

Giant Steps

October 11, 2007

When I was maybe 7 or 8 we used to play a street game called “Giant Steps.”  The leader would tell a player he or she could come closer and when they touched, the leader would chase them back to the start line.  If they got there first, they became the leader, otherwise the leader stayed the same. 

The leader would say, “You may take 3 giant steps,” or “you may take 5 baby steps,” or you may take 4 umbrella steps,” etc.  My point is that you were not allowed to actually take the steps until you said, “May I?” and the leader said, “yes.”

The key element in being able to move forward was permission.

It is still that way.  You cannot engage effectively with another person without permission.  It is another one of the key tips about coaching.  First permission, then whatever else.

And people are enormously generous in giving permission.  The simple request, “is it all right if I tell you something?” shifts the context of the conversation, actually changing the ears of the other person.  Now, if what you want to say feels especially awkward or sensitive to you, go for more permission.  “This may be sensitive; is it still okay?”  Or “I don’t want you to hear this the wrong way, is it still okay?”

Again, people are generous.  It shifts the interaction from intrusiveness to partnership. 

Once you have permission, you can say anything – without fear of reprisal.  After all, you have been invited in.There is another aspect of permission that also has tremendous value.  When you are nervous or feel silly or stupid or inappropriate, give yourself permission – “I feel really stupid saying this, but ….,” or “I’m awfully nervous about this, …”

The coaching model I use goes as follows:  First permission, then ask a question, then clarify the answer… This frequently leads to the client having an insight.  This, in turn, results in a possible action, which, when repeated, leads to new habits and, ultimately to desired results.

My website is www.michaellipp.com