EP 47: Real Confidence- What Kind of Enabler Are You?

You know the saying, if you want anything done, do it yourself? I hate it. I get it, but I hate it. Even when I benefit from it – and by benefit, I mean when my husband takes care of the dishes I leave in the sink. 

I’ll do them eventually, but it makes him crazy. And every time he cleans up after me, he’s teaching me that if I wait long enough, I won’t have to do it myself. 

In other words, he’s enabling me. 

Also, it’s not really about the dishes, is it? It’s about values. 

My husband values the dishes being done right away. He prioritizes this value. When I don’t do my dishes he experiences what we call at ACI a “values violation” because we don’t share the same priority. 

We’ve had YEARS to work this out and both kind of met in the middle – I’m better about doing my dishes and he doesn’t get quite as mad when he sees them in the sink – but this benign clash of ours contains some important lessons whether we’re the enabler or the enabled. 

The bottom line is this: when we enable others, we’re not only taking the lazy way out, i.e., can’t be bothered to explain why something is important to us, we’re stealing the other person’s confidence by sending the message they’re lazy, incapable or worse.

And as someone who’s built a career on giving confidence to the world, I can’t let that stand. 

In this episode of Real Confidence, I break it all down for you:

  • The difference between a “controlling” enabler and a “coaching” one
  • How to identify the problem behind the problem and get to the heart of the matter faster
  • Why the phrase “If I were you, I would…” should come with a warning label
  • How to teach instead of tell, so your kid, your partner, your direct report – whomever – builds a positive cognitive association with figuring out what’s holding them back
  • And last but not least, how to ask GOOD questions, in any situation, that put in you coaching enabler mode and builds, instead of steals confidence in others.