"I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught." ~ Winston Churchill.
A favorite popular song begins with the words "Ever seen a blind man cross the road, trying to reach the other side?" and later goes on to talk about unappreciated help, gifts and guidance given to a young girl.
The words may well resonate with discouraged coaches, teachers, leaders and managers who have experienced their heartfelt advice and insights fall unheeded by the wayside. The frustration we often feel reminds us of Sir Winston Churchill's words when he said "I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught."
So how can we deal better with this challenging paradigm and still help, teach, coach and grow those we care about? How do we not just give up and selfishly say ~ to heck with it? What are two things we need to remember as those we try to help resist our best intentions?
A Blind Mans Arm and The Drowning Swimmer.
A Blind Mans Arm
When offering to help a blind person cross the street you offer your assistance and your arm. You DO NOT grab their arm. If they want your help they will reach for you. That action, that gesture, is an affirmation of trust. When helping ~ Offer your arm ~ Don't grab.
The Drowning Swimmer
A drowning swimmer will fight you. Those in the most dire straits. The ones that need your help the most will fight, claw, scratch and resist you. They will flail against your assistance. The question then becomes how much do you want to help? How willing are you to sacrifice your interests and keep trying ~ or when do you let go?
Helping others is what makes us human. It is the essence of true leadership. In this simply guys opinion helping others all comes down to two things - Offer your arm and be willing to hang on for the flailing.