In our last post, we used this illustration found in David Rock’s book, Quiet Leadership, to isolate the optimal approach to working with and even communicating with others. In simple terms, we should ask much more than tell, and focus on solutions rather than the problem(s). What if we looked at the ask/tell scenario from a physical perspective?
With all the talk about coaching as a tool for progress and growth, it might not be obvious to some that coaching has a distinct scriptural basis found in Proverbs 20:5 The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out. Analyze that passage with me for a moment. The primary focus of the passage for the writer is Purposes of a person’s heart. These purposes are found deeply embedded in an individual. It takes a person with insight to bring them to the surface.
How does a person of insight draw purposes from someone else? The action of drawing out implies a willing participation of the person, a collaboration between the one who draws and the one who yields the dearly held secrets of the heart.
Contrast this collaborative act with the relative violence of much of our ‘telling’ culture. The action of ‘pushing in’ content and even motivation is a one way action, initiated by the teller and imposed on the recipient.
It is the difference between two simple phrases, ‘Would you join me?’ or ‘Get over here’. Sure, we can get a lot more said, at a much quicker pace when yelling and telling, explaining and lecturing. But is communicating telling or is it evoking action, empathy and understanding with another?
In our relationships and interactions with others this week, let’s try pulling rather than pushing.