Monday, March 02, 2015

Simple Math?

Encouragement - Accountability = Enabling

I struggle sometimes, in my line of work, with knowing the difference between encouraging people and enabling them. The line between encouragement and enabling might be even thinner than the line between love and hate. The claim that people don't change is false, but they do change at such a glacial pace that it's easy to understand why that belief if so popular. And, all that you do to build them up in the interim can feel like enabling them to stay the same. It's only in hindsight that it all makes sense and the difference between encouragement and enabling feels more than semantic.

Accountability - Encouragement = Abuse

The other delicate balance in this equation is how much accountability to apply: too much, and you're a monster; too little, and you're a doormat. Further complicating matters is the fact that there's no universal right answer. It's different for each person. There might even be a different balance for each of the different struggles an individual faces. It's pretty daunting.

Luckily, there's no shortage of practice...


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