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The People Helping Dilemma - Grasshopper

The Grasshopper issued this quote the other night: “What to do is simple; getting you to do it is the hard part.”

People helpers (people who assist other people in making changes), by and large, can tell what someone’s problem is almost immediately. They also know the remedy just as quickly. The hardest part is not their part to do. It’s yours!

 

Your part is taking their advice and running with it.

 

Most often, we go into “yeah, but” mode. That means we come up with all the excuses or justifications of why we can’t do that. We spend most of our time ignoring and pooh-poohing sage advice and expend little effort addressing our vice.

 

I suggest adding a new phrase when receiving wise counsel: “Yes, and.”

 

“Yes, that makes perfect sense AND here’s what I’m going to do next to address my issue.”

 

The strategy comes from the world of Improvisational comedy known as Improv. That’s when someone offers you a storyline and you don’t negate it; you advance it.

 

“A fast-talking rabbit and a tightwad turtle walk into a bar.” That’s what you’re offered. You don’t say, “That isn’t possible.” Rather you postulate something that keeps the story moving in a forward direction. “And they meet an old guy named Aesop who instructs the rabbit to drink fast and run out on the check causing the turtle to come out of his shell and pay the check.”

 

In real life, we eventually have to pay the piper – meaning we have to take action, not justify our inaction. For example, when someone tells me excitedly that they’ve learned something new, I want to know if they just learned it intellectually or if it actually got through. So, I ask, “What are you going to do in the next 24 hours to apply that teaching?”

 

It’s a “Yes, and” focusing question designed to move them forward and it keeps their head out of their “Yeah, butt.”

 

All the best,

John


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