Michael Thomas Sunnarborg

Michael Thomas Sunnarborg

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Bossy or Helpful?

Bossy or Helpful?

MichaelSunnarborg / March 01, 2024 Article, Image, Link / Leave a Comment

Think about the last time you gave advice or feedback. Or perhaps you were just making a “simple observation” about someone.

How did it go? Was it well-received?

Maybe. Or maybe not.

The desire to share our thoughts and feelings is natural—especially with those we care about.

But there’s a big difference between sharing perspectives versus telling people what to do—especially if they didn’t ask for input.

Even if someone asks for advice, you can still miss the mark.

Why is that?

The difference is your approach. Even if you intend to be helpful, how you phrase and deliver your words greatly affects their power and effectiveness.

Perhaps it wasn’t what you said, but how you said it.

Here’s a simple rule of thumb: Are you being bossy or helpful? Are your words coming across as being controlling or supportive?

It can be a fine line.

Most people respond to suggestions better than directives. Using words like, “Have you thought about…”, and “In my experience, I’ve found that…”, rather than, “You should do [this]…”, or “Don’t do [that], do [this]…”, still allows others to choose for themselves.

And there’s no greater gift in any relationship than giving people the freedom to create their own experiences.

Give it a try. The next time you’re asked (or tempted) to give advice or perspective, think, “Am I being bossy or helpful?” and notice how it changes your delivery.

Maybe your words of wisdom will go straight to their hearts instead of in one ear, and out the other.

Honor yourself,

Michael Thomas Sunnarborg

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