I have been approached by students , business associates, friends and family about their challenges and they ask for my advice. After carefully understanding their issue, I give recommendations which might help them in the long run. Then when I observe what they actually did, they did exactly opposite of what I recommended. This used to bug me until I shared with my business coach.
He said, “Karthik, you are responsible to your audience, but not for them. You are responsible to them to be prepared, to put forth the very best information you can and share it in such a way that it can be effectively utilized. You are responsible to them for that.
“But” he continued, “you are not responsible for them. You cannot control who chooses to use that information and benefit from it. That is up to them.”
What terrific advice. And, I believe it applies to all of us who work with people, regardless of the “audience” whether one-on-one, committee or huge crowd. I believe that whether we’re talking about products, services, or the solutions designed to help them, the attitude coach suggests is a vital part of a successful career. And, for that matter, any type of interpersonal persuasion process. Why? Because…
#1 Attachment Is A big no-no. If we have too much emotion invested in their taking a certain action, it’ll show through, and that person will probably follow the natural human tendency to resist that which they feel is being pushed upon them.
#2 It Fortifies Us. When we can walk away without emotional attachment to the results, or, what I call “Positive Detachment” (also known as “posture”), it strengthens us when trying to help the next person. And that person might just take our advice.
So, care about helping them, care about serving them, care about providing them value. You are responsible for that part of process. But, don’t get too caught up in the result. You are not responsible, nor can you ethically control their decisions.
Indeed, you are responsible to them…but not for them.