Letting Others Lead Us to Our Service

We are sharing our own thoughts in response to this month’s prompt (Refer back to The Invitation if you have questions about what we’re doing here). Deven Wisner shares his thoughts on our prompt:

What does it mean to you to be in service to others?

Service to others brings into question the mindset and approach I’m guilty of bringing to how I engage in, well…a lot.

I’m reminded of our work, in which I feel so much of our role is to facilitate the capacity of others. Whether it be through information sharing or training or ensuring a collaborative approach. It’s to leave having developed more than a deliverable; we might even say that the people, those impacted, are the deliverable.

Unfortunately, this frequently turns into showing up to help others meet us where we’re at. Wait a minute, you might be saying….I was with you, but you just flipped the script. Yes, I did. Because too often, it’s…

If they only applied all the knowledge we shared with them. If they only heard our perspective. If they would just agree that we have the answers.

Even with collaboration, participatory approaches, and all the checklists, each of these are real reactions.

If you’re angry or frustrated the other person ignores your advice, that’s a good indication you shouldn’t be giving it.

Harriet Lerner

I think we have lots of reasons why others are the problem in how we show up. Too infrequently are we stepping back to see whether or not we are showing up in the way we are asked and needed. Although it’s scary to show up without the prescription, isn’t it also comforting? Not everything has to fit into the process we’ve established; after all, haven’t we learned that processes can easily be cognitive traps that prevent us from radical imagination?

I’ll show up in service to others by listening. Instead of adjusting the narrative, I’ll allow others to facilitate the one that makes the most sense for them. When my mentorship is needed, they’ll tell me.

One thought on “Letting Others Lead Us to Our Service

  1. Oof! That Harriet Lerner quote. So good! Thank you for sharing these thoughts. “Too infrequently are we stepping back to see whether or not we are showing up in the way we are asked and needed.” Your post brought up for me that it sometimes can be confusing if expectations aren’t clear what our role is from the get go and that part of our job is to have this conversation (these conversations) with people we are working with, with our friends, family, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

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