A shoulder to cry on

A lot of my time is spent listening to people sharing their challenges and frustrations. Lone voices in their organisations, who can see a better way of doing things, they get ground down by resistance and inertia. Knowing that others feel the same, and that people around the world share their vision of what is possible can be very sustaining.

Just having someone listen helps. I can see them clarifying their thinking or stiffening their resolve simply through the process of articulating their thoughts and sharing them with someone who understands.

We don’t often need people to fix things for us, we just need someone to help us work out what to do and find the motivation to do it. This is why a coaching or mentoring relationship is so powerful. Not the dependency model of old style consulting where you would pay others to come up with solutions and deliver them for you, but a way of building your own skills and insights and becoming better at using these to make a difference.

3 thoughts on “A shoulder to cry on

  1. I’ve found, over a very long period of time, that people come to me not for answers or troubleshooting, but for emotional support to make good decisions when handling their own problems. Relating similar experiences, and discussing how I felt about those experiences, seems to help the most. And just … "being there."


  2. For the bigger issues that aren’t of interest at an organizational level (or local individual level) or don’t need immediate "fixing" I turn to blogging. Pouring out my ideas and thoughts there tend to draw people in who relate or offer a new perspective to inform my thinking… and its always nice to know someone is listening.


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