Enabling in the Workplace

In my last post I shared my personal reflections and experience surrounding the topic of enabling.

Let’s translate this hurdle of enabling into the workplace. What does it look like when someone begins to enable?

I want you to fill in the blanks before you continue reading. Humor me, pretend you’re an enabler. How would you answer these 9 statements?

  1.  If I don’t show support, the person will think I’m _______________.
  2. If I don’t show understanding, the person will think I’m ________________.
  3. If I complain, the person will think I’m ________________.
  4. If I get upset, the person will think I’m ___________________.
  5. If I express my honest thoughts, the person will think I’m ______________.
  6. If I feel hurt, the person will think I’m _________________.
  7. If I say no, the person will think I’m ___________________.
  8. If I don’t agree, the person might _________________.
  9. If I don’t agree, the person could _________________.

Unlike popular thinking, it’s not “yes people” that move up the corporate ladder. They will move up, but only at the mercy of a pecking order.

“If I dot all my I’s and cross all my T’s, they’ll choose me.”

Nope.

“If I show support and agreement to my direct supervisor, they will endorse me in my career within the organization.”

Not necessarily.

Only you can move up the ladder. No one can take you there but yourself.

The primary trait that will move you up in your career is a genuine confidence in who you are and your capabilities. That’s what leaders look for.

Confident people are great listeners and engage with fellow stakeholders. They’re team players and forward thinkers who are considerate and inclusive.

Confident people aren’t afraid of stating their thoughts and expressing their opinions because their ultimate desire is to build a great future with a great team.

When we enable, we are acknowledging that we are not confident.

You now have a second chance to answer the above questions. This time, answer them with confidence, with intelligence, with experience and with expertise.

When we respond from a place of confidence, we interpret events, circumstances, environments, conversations and people from a healthier perspective. (Notice how different the above statements are interpreted in the list below.)

  1. If I say what I think and express my honest thoughts, I’m showing my team commitment because _______________.
  2. If I ask for clarity because I lack understanding, I’m showing my team commitment because _______________.
  3. If I’m dissatisfied with the outcome and express my complaint, I’m showing my team commitment because _______________.
  4. If I’m displeased with the outcome and I’m troubled, I’m showing the team my commitment because ___________________.
  5. If I’m disappointed in the team’s unity and express my discouragement, I’m showing the team my commitment because _________________.
  6. If I say no, I’m showing the team my commitment because ___________________.
  7. If I don’t agree, the person will know that _________________.
  8. If I don’t agree, the person could respond with _________________.

Enabling is responding with fear.

Confidence is responding from your true identity. And in your true identity, there is no need for fear.

It’s one thing to accommodate and remain flexible because you want to be. Being flexible is an attribute of team playing. Being accommodating can have a great impact when it’s offered from a place of fearless confidence.

However, it’s considered enabling if you accommodate and remain flexible because you’re afraid of what people will think or you’re afraid the outcome will have a negative impact on you.

What replaces the brokenness of enablement? The valor of confidence.

– Karen Thrall

* also published on www.karenthrall.com

 

 

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