Jun 26

Assumptions to Empower People

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How effectively can you empower people around you? Do you utilize useful assumptions to empower people? If yes, what assumptions do you employ? How does the experience of empowering others impact you? Imagine you utilizing useful assumptions to empower people while you elevate this skill. Envision you helping people around you learn how to do this too. How would this benefit you, your company, and people around you?

My passion is helping leaders elevate their skills to empower people and effect change. By empower, I mean to unleash potential hidden within someone and spark them to take action to develop that potential. Useful assumptions are some of the tools we utilize to help leaders empower people while they elevate these skills. By empowering people around them, anyone can be a leader. By consistently taking action to empower people around them, a leader can change the culture of their organization.

I first learned how to utilize useful assumptions to empower people from Dr. Robert Shaw. He was a psychiatrist whose passion was helping psychotherapists learn how to empower their clients and effect positive change in one session. He studied the master psychotherapists to identify what they had in common. While their theories about change were quite diverse, Dr. Shaw discovered that they shared an uncommon set of useful assumptions that made it possible for them to empower people and effect change in as little as one session. Because I was in a leadership position when I was a student of Dr. Shaw, I became intrigued with how a leader can utilize useful assumptions to empower people in one interaction and effect positive change within their organization. I learned through taking action that utilizing useful assumptions to empower others was also empowering to me as a leader.

Leaders do not typically utilize useful assumptions to empower people or to elevate this skill. Most people have had multiple experiences where they assumed something to be true and then subsequently felt foolish because their assumption was wrong. They are familiar with the saying that when you assume something that you make an “ASS” out of you and me. They have not usually considered how assumptions can be useful. Consequently, most people strive to avoid making assumptions.

You can utilize useful assumptions to empower people and use their response as feedback to elevate your empowerment skill. Useful assumptions are most effective when they are not explicitly stated. Rather engage in a conversation with someone as if the useful assumptions are true. Then utilize how people respond to your actions as feedback to further eleveate your skill. Those who are more difficult to empower can be more helpful to you in elevating your skill.

By utilizing assumptions to empower people, you can create a win for you, people around you, and your company. The more impactful you are in empowering someone, the more empowering the experience is for you as a leader. Benefits from empowering people include elevated performance, creativity, and passion. Benefits can include job advancement opportunities for you and for them.

My favorite assumption that I utilize daily is that each person is a compelling possibility for the future. To clarify what this assumption means to me: no matter how successful someone already is, they still have untapped potential hidden within that can be unleashed. An assumption that I frequently utilize to unleash compelling possibilities in people around me is that one person can empower another by giving them sincere positive feedback.

Here is a quick story to illustrate how you can utilize useful assumptions to empower people and some of the benefits that can result. One of our clients is a financial planner. When we met, he had already built his nest egg and was venturing into an endeavor to give back to others. He learned how to utilize useful assumptions to empower people and was given a daily call to action to do so in 2 to 10 minutes each day. Then between his second and third sessions, he started experiencing unexpected benefits. He received so many referrals from his existing financial planning clients that he earned multiple returns on his initial investment. He later explained that by utilizing what he was learning from us with his financial planning clients, he deepened his relationship with them, a benefit from empowering them. This led to a benefit he did not anticipate; his clients, because they were benefiting more from working with him, referred more of their friends and family members to him so that they could also benefit. Because of his experience and similar experiences shared by other clients, increased sales results is becoming an expected benefit for professionals who empower prospective clients and clients. Useful assumptions is one of the tools our clients utilize to empower people and experience expected and unexpected benefits.

In conclusion, if you want to receive maximum value from reading this article, then I invite you to choose to utilize these ideas to both empower people and elevate this skill. Disciplined action is essential to transform knowledge into skill. Here is a 30-day, daily call to action that can be completed in 2 to 10 minutes each day to make it easier for you to accomplish both of these objectives.
1) Read these two useful assumptions at the start of each day: a) Each person is a compelling possibility for the future with hidden potential that can readily be unleashed; b) One person can empower another by giving them sincere positive feedback.
2) Engage in a conversation with one person each day as if these two assumptions are true (preferably do so in a conversation that was already scheduled).
3) Give them sincere positive feedback.
4) Utilize their response as feedback to elevate your skill. (If they shine and respond with more energy in their voice, then these are preliminary indicators that you have empowered them. And tears can indicate that you have empowered them in too.)
5) Record in a personal journal any significant observations from this daily call to action including expected or unexpected benefits that result.