When it comes to stimulating change in other people, how challenging can we be?
How far and fast can we push?
How can we best tell when we need to back off?
Well, of course, it depends…
It depends on the nature and quality of our relationship: Is it a boss-subordinate relationship, or a coach-client relationship, or a peer-to-peer relationship? And how strong is that relationship? Is there enough “fuel in the tank” of trust and confidence to cope with the disturbance and get the best result?
It also depends on our presence: How grounded and resourceful do we seem? Are we coming from a place of personal authority? Or are we relying on our formal position?
There’s a sense of right timing too—a sense of things in motion. Maybe we need to bide our time for the big intervention. Maybe we need to wait for the “planets to align.” Patience may get us to the end result more quickly than haste.
But we do need to be challenging in some way in the meantime—and also supportive.
Otherwise what we’re doing won’t pass the “so what?” test.
Holding back completely doesn’t work.