What do your people crave? As a matter of fact, what you and I crave: feeling capable. Feeling that we are competent, smart, or simply capable is like oxygen to our soul.
Capable sounds like this within our minds, and these voices happen at an unconscious level:
“I am really good at this.”
“I am uniquely better than anyone in the room with this.”
“I am a genius at this.”
These voices don’t come from a place of boasting. They come from a place of deep desire to matter, to not be irrelevant, to be respected, heard, and valued.
I am always amused when people tell me what they are passionate about. It is almost invariably what they are good at. What activates these voices within them that assures them that they are capable.
As I started discovering this idea, I felt a bit sheepish. Could I really be that needy? Could the strong, accomplished people around me really need to feel capable or else they are not well. I believe so. Test it for yourself.
Let me offer these thoughts for your reflection:
• What makes you feel capable?
• What makes the key people in your life feel capable?
• When you are in a room with others and flaunting your thoughts in the name of contribution, do you suck the “capable” oxygen from the room? Are you the only one feeling capable, while others are left to feel average?
This is where you can practice generosity in relationships, all while increasing your leadership capacity with them.
People need to feel capable. Let them. Give them that gift.