A Golden OpportunityJuly 11, 2021
A young girl said “Mommy, I want to go play in the backyard. Will you tie my shoes for me?”
“Hmm. Do you remember yesterday when we did it together?”
“Well, yeah, but now I forget. Will you do it for me? You already know how”
“That’s true. But I think you’re capable of figuring it out. Just imagine how satisfying it will be to do it yourself!”
Whether you’re raising a 6-year old or managing a team, it's probably common for someone to ask “Hey, can you do this for me?”.
Often it’s accompanied by a justification like “it’ll be easier/faster/higher quality if you do it”. And that may be true.
But the potential for satisfaction is much greater if you invite someone to tackle the task they’re not yet comfortable with.
If you say “Sure, I’ll do it”, you’re depriving the other person of a chance to learn, perhaps struggle, and eventually say: “I did it!”
Or you can say “No. I'm right here, but I won't do it for you. What do you need from me in order to address it yourself?”
It might not be easy. But there’s a good chance it will be worthwhile.