A talented friend and business consultant said recently that when she meets with prospective clients she shares so many techniques that she feels like she’s “giving away the store”.
The image that came to mind was that some of her prospective clients were expecting her to tour a “Five and Dime” store, and she was sharing how to become Macy’s!
It’s quite common for those of us who love to help people succeed to also ‘over-give’. Over-giving usually comes from lovely motivations. We have lots of ideas we want to share, we want others to succeed, we love helping. But if we routinely find either that: one, we feel drained; or two, the other people are unable to absorb or act on most/all of our suggestions/ideas, then we may be over-giving. Your “over-giving” could be their “over-whelming”.
One of the handiest things about being a coach is that I don’t have to have all the answers for my clients. My job is to help them tease out the answers for themselves. If you’re an over-giver, you may want to adopt a coaching mindset.
If you’re in a position where you are asked to give advice, find out what they’ve done so far to address their own dilemma. Then share your suggestions. Then take a moment. Sense if the other person is absorbing the information. If you’re not sure, here are some possible follow up questions:
· “Does this make sense to you?”
· “Would this work for you?”
· “Are these good first steps?”
· “Is there any part of this you want to incorporate in your next actions?”
· “Is this enough for now?”
· “Does this feel handled for now?”
Effective giving is knowing not just what to give, but how much.
And may you all share your gifts peacefully with precision, purpose and power!