Only you can truly know you. Me
As a coach, I’m trained to ask and to listen. Then to ask again, giving my client the space and structure to discover the approach, the answer, the insight that only they can divine. The ‘ah ha’ moments that has brought over the years are rich, exciting and a large part of the satisfaction my work has given me.
Asking not telling is an approach that’s also aligned with what I know metaphysically: only you can truly know you. It’s a powerful way of relating to others not just to clients or customers. Asking creates openings where ‘telling’ or ‘being told’ closes doors (I know. I dislike being told – sometimes even when I’ve first asked to be.)
Of course, we all know this. But, this week, I discovered places where I’m not using what I know. I noticed that I was using a different approach in conversations where I was wearing my ‘community leader’ hat. The awareness came as I reflected on several conversations from which I’d come away feeling restless, dissatisfied, bummed.
As many reflections do, it started with ‘them’: if only they would … (I’m guessing you’re familiar with this reflection).
Then, as I went a little deeper, I saw that rather than starting with my natural care and curiosity to create spaciousness in the conversation, I was starting with ‘I know. Let me tell you.’ I was assuming (we all know about ass-u-me) – not consciously of course – that I was being told something in order to solicit my opinion. I was using the conversation not as a place for exploration, but as a place for telling what I (think that) I know.
As the place where much of our learning starts, let’s just say that ‘it wasn’t pretty’. It was a dark, dusty corner asking for the light of attention: the light of bringing my caring, curious self to these community conversations and of using my ‘knowing self’ much more selectively.
I noticed something else as well. I’ve come to a place in life where I can identify these dark, dusty corners without the guilt and beating myself up for not being the perfect, caring, curious me. I like discovering those dark, dusty corners. They represent where new learning begins. And, in a Universe meant for learning, that’s a great measure of success.