Empower, Celebrate, Free

“To empower another, is to empower yourself.
To celebrate another, is to celebrate yourself.
And to free another, is to free yourself”
I get messages from TUT/The Universe every morning, and this was my message today.  It really resonated with me as it reminded me of Coaching Culture: being seen, heard and understood.   When one truly sees, hears, and understands another they do all of the above: empower, celebrate, and free.  How powerful is that?!  When was the last time you really saw someone, heard someone, and took the time to understand someone?  Your children?  Your spouse?  Your friends and colleagues?  And when was the last time you felt that way?  Feeling empowered, celebrated and free. What was that like for you?
How many times a day do your kids or spouse get upset about something because you are not truly listening to what they want?  You might be hearing what you think they want, but it’s not really listening to what they are actually saying or asking.  It get’s frustrating for all parties.  Kids or spouses get upset because they aren’t feeling heard and their needs aren’t being addressed.  You are getting upset because you can’t understand what the problem is. You know they are upset about something AND you know how best to fix it.  So, I ask -how often do we really take the time to ask, be curious about their frustration and dig deeper to find out what it is THEY want?  I found myself challenged by this just the other day…
It’s early morning, lunches are being made, breakfast is not being eaten, kids need to get to school, work needs to be done, meetings need to be taken..  Although I am still at home, my foot (and mind) is one foot out the door.  My 4 year old son is getting dressed for school and I can see he is about to melt down.  So, I ask what’s going on and he tells me he wants his black skinny jeans.  I tell him they are dirty and that they aren’t ready to be worn today, what other pair would he like to wear?  “No, I want my black skinny jeans”.  “I heard you,” I tell him.  “You want your black skinny jeans.  As I mentioned before, they are unfortunately dirty and so you can’t wear them today”  He is now getting visibly more upset, and says “No, I WAANNT them”.  And now I am getting upset because we are late, and I feel he isn’t listening to me and why can’t he just pick another pair of pants so we can all move on with our day?!  So I get down on his level, look him in the eye and tell him “I hear that you want your black jeans, and I feel like you aren’t hearing me.  They are dirty.  They can’t be worn today.”  And he freaks out “ I want them, I want them, I WANT them”.  Fine.  I get the jeans and I give them to him. “Wear the dirty jeans if it means that much to you”- not my proudest parenting moment.  He takes the jeans and from the pocket pulls out a toy, holds it in his hand and hands the jeans back to me.  OHHHH… you WANTED your jeans, just like you asked, so you could take out your toy.  I NEVER tested my assumptions and asked him WHAT he “wanted” his jeans for.  I just assumed he wanted to wear them. I immediately apologize for not REALLY listening to him and asked him what we can do next time so that this doesn’t happen again?  He looks me in the eye and says “You can ask me what I want them for”.  We hug.  He happily bounds off toy in hand, very satisfied and I smile to myself.. empowered, celebrated and free.
How often do you find yourself testing your assumptions?
What did you learn from it?
How did it change your outcome?
We want to hear from you!  Share your experience.. What worked? What didn’t?  and how would you do it differently?
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