Reliance and Empowerment


Some people like to do things themselves while others like it best when things are done for them. I suppose it really depends on the situation as to which is best for you personally. The real questions do you have to ask yourself when deciding is whether you have the interest, skills, time, resources and motivation to do whatever it is you’re considering.

In some situations, I’m more than happy to pay someone else to do whatever it is that needs doing. I remember when landscaping my backyard for example that I was quite happy to pay a contractor to deliver and set several large armour stone pieces which when completed frame a patio area. I had him drill a hole through one of the stones and with a hose inserted that rock has now become a focal piece of the backyard waterfall too. Could I have done that on my own? Well perhaps, but the cost of renting equipment, finding some guys to help in the transport, making sure everyone worked safely and the margin for error which could have ruined the entire project didn’t make it worthwhile. Nope, it was far better to pay a team of men do what they have specific skills and expertise on my behalf.

The above situation is in my opinion money well spent. However, there are other things I choose to take on all by myself. It might take a consultation with a professional, reading up on a process or watching an online video or two, but I figure at the outset I’ve got the motivation and time, I’m confident I can learn the skills required and it looks like a job which I can do building on my existing skills. In short, I won’t get in over my head and the chances of success look good doing it myself. Take as an example when I put down some hardwood flooring for the first time years ago. It took longer than a team of pros would take, but it was empowering to do it with my wife and when done look at that floor and say we did it ourselves. With that success, we could if we chose go on to do other floors with new-found confidence.

That’s a wonderful thing about doing things yourself; you can point to what you’ve done and feel good about what you’ve achieved. Well, that is you can feel good about what you’ve achieved when it works out. I suppose if you laid some hardwood flooring yourself and in the end found you’d scratched up several pieces, cut a few pieces a little short and the gap on one edge is wider than it should be, that do-it-yourself mentality was ill-conceived. Maybe it might have been better to hire some pro and let him or her do it for you so it was done right.

Sometimes it’s easy to make the mistake of assuming a job is easy; that anyone can do it – certainly you can at any rate. In the case of flooring it’s easy to tell when the job is done whether it’s a good one or not; all you have to do is stand back and look.

On the other hand, putting together a résumé when applying for work looks fairly straight-forward and certainly within most people’s abilities to do, but not everyone has the skills to tackle it on their own. If I told you I see terrible resumes on a daily basis done by people who think they’ve actually done a great job on them I wouldn’t be stretching the truth. Unlike looking at a finished floor, people can read and re-read a résumé and miss all kinds of problems that to a pro stand out like a sore thumb.

So here like in all things, you’ve only got a few options. Make a résumé yourself, have someone do it for you, or – and here’s my suggestion – have a professional sit down and explain what they are doing and why as they do it.

If you make a résumé yourself you won’t know how much better it could really be. If you have the skills to craft ones that work, then hurrah for you! Excellent. If however, you pay to have it made for you and you only get the finished product, you are now dependent on the person who made it for revisions, extra copies and you haven’t learned anything. You may have paid a lot of money for something you assume is great and it may not turn out to be a bona-fide winner.

Sit down with a pro and pick their brain as they craft that document however, and you will pick up the reasoning and rationale behind what they leave out and put in. As you listen you learn; as you question you learn; as you watch you learn. In the end, you leave with two things; the résumé you need and the necessary information to perhaps make better resumes in the future than you would have otherwise. With this new-found knowledge your skills have improved and in short, you might feel empowered to put together stronger documents on your own.

Knowing when to pay a professional and when to take on work on your own is a strength. Stronger still is the person who becomes empowered making themselves self-reliant in the process.

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Empowerment


One thing I try to do for those I help with finding, maintaining or exploring employment opportunities is give them the gift of empowerment. Whether that’s mine to give in the first place I acknowledge could be a point of irony as it turns out for some readers.

However that aside, it’s empowerment that’s up for discussion and pondering. Empowerment is less about what you can do for someone and more about what you can help them learn to do for themselves. This is usually accomplished by sharing skills, supporting the person through their first attempts and weaning yourself off as a dependency. Eventually the person gets to the point where they master the skill or skills you’ve shared and they can readily call upon them themselves with confidence and critically, competence.

Now of course, not everybody wants to be empowered. If you stop and think about this, you will possibly be able to think of situations in which you yourself would rather employ and pay for the services someone else has mastered rather than invest the time, energy and money required to gain the skill. Need help thinking of some? You may take your car in to change over your tires from All – seasons to Winter and back again rather than doing it yourself. You might call in a Plumber, an Electrician or a Painter when their services are required. For even though you could do a little research and learn how to change your tires yourself, get advice at a paint store or learn how to install that new kitchen faucet yourself, many leave the jobs to the professionals.

And how often does the Plumber or the Mechanic call you over and ask if you’d like to watch them work and they’ll tell you how to do this yourself in the future? Probably never; they’d eventually lose many of their customers and might lose their own incomes.

It seems to me however, that when it comes to job searching, writing resumes and cover letters and going to job interviews, that many people who haven’t mastered these skills tend to think they have nonetheless. I couldn’t tell you the number of times someone puts a poorly written document in my hands and does so feeling I’ll give it a passing grade.

There are really two kinds of people who I help in the end; the ones who say, “Just do it for me”, and those that are really interested in knowing the reasons behind my suggestions because they are sincerely invested in wanting to be able to produce good documents on their own. And what makes a good document? One that gets results often, not just once for every 50 handed out. That too is interesting; when someone defends with attitude the poor resume they have which got them to the interview stage once back in 2004. Sometimes it’s best to tell someone you’re available if they open themselves up to your help, do it for them and leave it for now.

So what’s in it for me personally when I’m consistently the Employment Counsellor where I work who always takes the longest when working with someone? It’s true of course. Sit the entire team down, each lending a hand to craft a resume and I’ll take the longest every time; you could win money if you bet on that; it’s just how I work. Don’t get me wrong by the way about my peers; good people and they get results too.

I derive happiness out of passing on the knowledge I have and so whenever I’m assisting someone, not only is my brain occupied in the resume construction but it’s also acutely engaged in passing on what I know to the extent the person themselves is both interested and able to take in. After all, even the most invested person can have other things on their mind and only be able to retain so much at one sitting.

My goal as stated earlier is to empower the person to the point where they can make the modifications necessary when targeting their resume to multiple jobs – jobs that may have the exact same job title by the way. As for job interviews, my goal is to help label a persons skills who may not recognize them for what they are, give them some structure to follow so their words use skill-based language and best market their strengths.

Eventually, the bittersweet moment comes when someone knows enough that they no longer need help. I mean it’s obviously the main goal and this is a moment of great personal satisfaction for me as well as them; I’m thrilled for them. Selfishly though, yes there is a part of me that thinks back and really enjoyed all those moments along the way when they internalized and mastered one skill that made learning the next possible.

Empowerment isn’t for everybody when it comes to job searching. Many remain dependent on others to do the work for them and they may get lucky at an early job interview or it may take many interviews to eventually succeed. When a person is receptive to learning, hopefully they seek out the right person to share what they know.

Now what about you? If you’re looking for work, know whether you want to be empowered or not and sharing this with whomever you approach for help is an excellent beginning.

Empower Yourself!


I suppose the two bonuses of empowering people is that you share a skill that enables them to do things independently which is good, and your relationship with that person now changes as they are no longer as dependent on you for your help.

I’d be the first to say that I derive tremendous satisfaction from empowering others and seeing them take a newly-learned skill, try it, master it and then employ it on a regular basis with confidence. There’s something special and gratifying about seeing self-confidence rise up in another and with it a change in attitude.

When I see someone master a new concept and use it correctly on a regular basis, I often think back to when they didn’t have that skill, and how dependent they were on me and others to guide them or do things for them. Now it’s not a bad thing in any way to seek out help from others that have knowledge of things we lack. What I find interesting to reflect on however is not so much the skill enhancement itself, but the change in the person overall.

Think perhaps of a time in your life when you suddenly moved from not knowing something to suddenly, “getting it”. At that moment when you thought, “I can do this by myself”, you experienced a moment of pride, accomplishment, confidence and had anyone been there to see you in this moment, they would have noticed an observable change. No doubt you may have smiled, laughed, and sat up straighter, walked with your head held higher, etc. Think about it; that recipe you made perfectly for the first time, that hobby you mastered (like that difficult knitting manoeuver), that first bike ride without falling over, the first time you crashed through that mental block in your weekly run.

Sometimes the things we master and find great joy in are in the things we choose to do in our spare time such as the above examples. When we experience those moments of mastering something, we’re happy largely because we find whatever it is we are doing pleasurable and that means we can repeat those pleasurable moments whenever we wish making our personal time more enjoyable.

Just as often, we can be empowered in our workplace. Someone on our team can teach us a practice, share a skill, and tip us off to a short-cut or better way to do something that saves us time and the company money. This kind of empowerment we really appreciate because now we have the skills and experience to repeat these positive experiences and presumably we’ll save time as most of us repeat whatever it is we do often in the course of our work. When we are empowered, we have to seek out help from others less often, and in so doing we become more productive at the same time as the others around get more productive having to help us out less often. It’s a win-win.

Looking for work is something most of us only invest our time in when we are actually looking for work. That may sound trite, but its true isn’t it? When we have jobs and go to work every day, we don’t usually devote and time – less even a thought – to upgrading our resumes, mastering how to write a cover letter or staying up on how looking for jobs has evolved. We may not verbalize it, but what our actions say is that we’ll think about learning the skills to get a job if and when we find ourselves actually looking for a job. Essentially we put off acquiring the skills for job hunting because we aren’t job hunting.

This becomes problematic then down the road when we find ourselves suddenly unemployed. Whether it’s being laid off, having quit, been fired, moved etc., we can find ourselves suddenly needing those job searching skills again.

What typically happens for many people is they go about job searching the way they went about job searching the last time they were out of work. Depending on how long they were actually working, this could be a month or two or it could be several years – even a decade or more. ‘Dusting off the resume’ for some people literally means dusting off the resume because time has left it sitting idle. The job seeker looks on their own thinking finding a job will be something they can do independently, but often, outside help soon becomes something they realize they need help with.

Looking for a job and the way in which employers go about hiring people has evolved and changed. The faster one realizes this and asks for help from someone up on the latest trends and best practices can often mean the difference between a short period of unemployment and a long-term experience.

If you lack the sufficient knowledge to navigate Applicant Tracking software, online applications, crafting targeted resumes, doing research using social media as examples, you may find yourself dependent on others with these skills to help you. At some point, hopefully you will master your own job search strategies and have the skills to go about conducting a successful search that concludes with landing your next job or resuming your career.

You are no doubt in possession of knowledge, experiences and education that collectively make you the expert in your field. Don’t therefore discount the wisdom of seeking the aid of others who are experts in the entire employment counselling realm. Take the steps to empower yourself!

 

Our Responsibility When Meeting Clients


Yesterday I wrote a piece encouraging anyone who is a client to make the very most of the meetings they have with others who are in a position to help. In short, the message was one pleading for clients to make the very most of those opportunities.

So it now makes sense to turn to the role you and I play if you are one of those who host those meetings. As professionals meeting with clients, there is an inherent risk we run in sliding into poor habits due to the many we serve. So let’s look at the part we play and how we might go about those face-to-face encounters.

First of all, it’s usually we who drive the meeting isn’t it? I mean we might have requirements to meet with clients within designated timeframes. Whether it’s to update a file, satisfy some legislative or company requirement, we send out letters or make phone calls so we can ‘update the file’. What we should never forget or take for granted however is that, ‘the file’ exists because there is a person or people the file represents.

When we drive the agenda we might have the same pre-set questions ready at our disposal in order to garner the information required so we can update the electronic field in the computer software. We may have a template which designed to ensure we don’t forget or miss something, and this data collection allows the organization to then fulfill its requirements. On that front, it makes sense and all is good.

However, that person sitting in front of us is a unique individual. We may be tempted to evaluate them as similar or exactly the same as any number of other clients we have, but that one person has a unique background that has brought them to sit before us today. So whether it’s employment counselling, marital or grief counselling, financial advice, real estate transactions or any other kind of 1:1 meeting, that person is unique and worthy of being treated with respect and dignity.

So how to best show respect and dignity then is the question. It starts I believe in seeing this meeting as a two-way exchange; a conversation. Aside from our own agenda, shouldn’t we ask what’s on their mind? Is there anything they’d like to ask, share or clarify? Recognizing the other person has their own issues and needs and then paying attention and actively listening to them makes investing in the meeting and its outcome worthwhile.

Now I personally know of some people who are exceptionally good and unfortunately others who are exceptionally poor at hosting productive, meaningful meetings. The worst is the person who has all the forms pre-filled for the client to sign before even getting the clients input, sees the client as an intrusion in their day, and ushers them in and back out as quick as possible in order to join their teammates on an extended break.

Now ironically, some clients would love this kind of meeting. In and out quickly, not needing to be hauled back in (as they see it) for months, and by signing the forms they continue to benefit in some way without any real inconvenience to their daily life. I’ve met with such clients whose files I’d assumed in the past, and the first thing they found odd but good was that I actually sat there and talked with them instead of to them. They were initially suspicious, thinking I was pretending to care in order to find something to seize on. How relieved they were to find I used what they shared to suggest action plans that would help them. But isn’t that our job?

I’ve seen some really fabulous examples of conducting productive meetings too. Even now in my present job, I’ve got co-workers, (some I can overhear as they meet) who really invest themselves in the well-being of the client. The meetings are not rushed, the client is given 100% of the person’s attention, and the dialogue flows back and forth instead of one-way only. When the client leaves, they more often than not follow through with the plans agreed on, as there is more ownership and buy-in to a shared plan versus a plan they didn’t help develop being thrust on them.

So I believe that you – and I – need every now and then to remind ourselves that the people we see and assist are not only entitled to our full attention and our respect, but if it must be said, they are the very reason we even have the jobs we love in the first place.

For me personally, I imagine myself in their position, (as best I can) and try to give the service to them I’d want and hope for were I in their chair. That client might not even know what they should ask, or what funds or programs they might be eligible for. That’s my job – your job – to empower them with information and support which they can use to propel themselves forward.

Sometimes just listening to a person talk who senses they can trust you reveals all kinds of information which is then extremely helpful in addressing barriers and challenges.

It’s a great privilege to serve others, especially when we have the knowledge and the ability to do so. I applaud you if you are in such a position and thank you for doing so!

 

The Secret Fax Machine Feature


Have a fax machine in your place of employment? Can you do anything other than fax documents with yours? Maybe your fortunate to have a large photocopier that has the capability to fax, scan, email, add digital signatures and re-size documents as well. Is that it? If that’s all your fax machine does, trade it in.

I have found a feature on the fax machine where I work that ironically is also available on the photocopier too. I’ve been using this secret and most amazing feature for years and figure it’s about time I share it with those of you who may have yet to discover it.

There’s a feature on all the technology equipment in my client-shared workspace and it’s the Empowerment and Conversation Starter feature. Now not everybody knows how to use these commands. So when someone says, “I need to fax something to my Caseworker”, some folks will just take the item from them and go fax it for them and be done with it. That’s fast, moves the client along, provides the quickest way to accomplish the intended action – and completely misses an opportunity to teach and share a skill, empower them with independence and start a conversation!

Now me, I’m different. (My co-workers say that all the time; “Kelly, you’re different!”) What I like to do is take them over to the fax machine, show them the instructions on how to fax which are right at eye level and simple to both read and follow. Then show them the fax cover sheets and have THEM fill it out. Then I show them the other sheet at eye level which has the fax numbers for the 4 offices where our Caseworkers work out of as the number they want is usually one of the 4.

At this point I ask them if this is their first time faxing. Then as they get ready to fax and go to hand things to me, I make no movement to take it from them and tell them I like to watch. So directing them again to the simple instructions, they cautiously start to do things themselves. Put the papers in the top of the machine face up, dial 9, then the area code and fax number, then press the start key. Then I usually say, “Tell me when you get to the hard part.” Almost without fail, they’ll say, “That’s it? That was easy.” And then I conclude by saying, “Congratulations, you are no longer a faxing virgin.”

I have yet to have a single person not smile and chuckle. But I’m not done. For the fax to go through to those busy offices, it can take anywhere from a few seconds to 10 minutes. While the client is standing there waiting, I move past this task-oriented conversation on how to fax, to the more meaningful relationship-building chat with this captive client.

“So are you in school or looking for work maybe?” Something like that to get the ball rolling. Depending on the answer, I might gleam a little about their career or job interests, problems, challenges, family life, criminal record or any number of things depending on how much they share. What we talk about isn’t as important as just talking.

I point out before they leave that not only have they themselves faxed their documents wherever they needed to go, but the next time they need this done, they’ll perhaps be able to do this themselves without needing help. That’s empowerment people. Now some of you might be thinking, “Big deal!”

Ah but you’d be surprised to look at things as they do. Some of the people I assist and serve have very little self-esteem, accomplish very little in their eyes and feel entirely dependent on others. They depend on social services for their rent and food money, bus fare or gas money, help with their bills, help with their childcare, resumes, job search skills, help with dealing with their stress, anger, self-esteem etc. So learning something they didn’t know previously and can now do on their own IS a big deal. It’s a start.

And not to sound overly dramatic, but I have also had more than 1 person say to me later, “You actually talked to me and didn’t want anything; I’m not used to that.” Isn’t that sad? The person is used to people only talking to them when other people want something from them and so for someone to just want to chat with them and take a genuine interest in what they are up to is remarkable.

Simple opportunities to engage and connect with people present themselves all the time if you have your eyes open to the possibilities and seize them. Showing people how to fax can be frustrating if you have to do it 15 times a day when the instructions are so clearly visible and simple. But to just sit at a desk, not move and say, “Help yourself, the instructions are on the wall over there”,  is an opportunity missed.

So do you have this secret feature on your fax machine, photocopiers, computer or even the simple telephone where your clients meet and mingle? Empowering clients, using some humour to lighten someone’s moment, taking an interest in the person standing before you, it’s pretty simple stuff. Maybe not remarkable, maybe just obvious and mundane.

On the other hand, maybe the first small step in starting something bigger.

 

 

 

 

Bullying In The Workplace


Do you have a person in your workplace that you dread running into during the day? Do you find yourself looking over your shoulder, taking precaution to walk around with other staff, getting sick to your stomach just walking to your car at the end of the day; and all because you’re living in fear of a fellow employee? Sounds like you might be having an issue with a bully.
Some people tend to thrive on exploiting the vulnerable, and those exploited don’t always have to be the stereotypical nerdy girl or guy picked on by some muscular good-looking ex-football star. The real world is much more complex than that. And it’s sad really when you think about it; somebody gaining satisfaction from the power they have over someone else. There isn’t sufficient space in this blog, nor do I have all the answers that might explain what’s going on in the head of a bully, but I want to focus on what you might do if you find yourself the victim of this anyhow.
And this situation has to soon be remedied or you’re going to have some long-term anxiety issues. Some victims have been known to quit their jobs outright just to eliminate the power of the bully over them in the workplace, and if the community where they live is small, some pick up and move to other neighbourhoods or even other towns. This doesn’t really address the issue or change the behaviour of the bully, but it does offer the victim an immediate solution, even if it does create other issues like finding a new job, bearing the financial cost of a move or being isolated from family and friends who may live in the old neighbourhood.
Imagine if this were our child in primary school. As parents, we’d probably have a talk with our youngster when they came home and tell them a variety of things. We might suggest they stand up for themselves, tell the bully to stop, and we might put in a phone call to the school Principal, or make an appointment in person to advocate for our child and get the authorities to intervene. Maybe things would improve, and maybe they wouldn’t. If this was in high school where kids tend to see each other outside of the school itself, we might even hope the school transfers the bully to another school, or get our teen to another school.
But when the problem is more personal; we’re the one being bullied and we’re an adult, we don’t tend to follow our own advice. The idea of confronting a bully that you may have to work with all day long is sickening. It requires assertiveness, courage and that may be something we don’t feel we have. And while you may think about going to your boss, what if the boss shrugs it off, tells us to deal with it our self, or even doesn’t see there’s any problem at all? Then what?
Thankfully, there is more acceptance in 2014 than in years past for coming forward with these kinds of issues in the workplace. Many employers have policies set in place to deal with workplace harassment, some have employee counselling programs in-house, or will cover the cost of external counselling services. To get these solutions in place however, you have to alert your organization that you are experiencing a problem. Rather than see this as aggravating the problem with the bully or stirring up a hornet’s nest, see this as being a proactive step to resolve your issue.
Other options include asking your boss to set up a meeting with the employee, yourself and a third-party. Yes, you will probably be ill just thinking about that scenario, but it may be preferable to doing nothing and allowing the situation to continue. Your focus isn’t on getting them into trouble, it’s about maintaining or regaining your mental health and working free from harassing behaviour. Some bullies don’t even see there is an issue. How can they not? Well it’s true. When they do know they are being a bully, they alter their own behaviour and really do try to change how they may have been interacting with you.
In other situations you may be able to apply for a transfer to another office or workstation, where you don’t run into each other, and this preserves your job. If this is an option, you may not even need to raise the issue with anyone at all.
If you feel that you are a victim, good advice is not to join the bully and start beating yourself up too. What do I mean by that? You know, feeling miserable because you tell yourself you should do something or say something and yet you don’t so you get mad at yourself. Beating yourself up over your reluctance or inability to take action only adds to the problem. Bullying is wrong and should not be tolerated. One way or the other, you must take action and sooner is better than later.
Anyone can be a victim of bullying. You would be surprised how many well-adjusted confident people have someone in their lives at present or in the past, whom they have found themselves bullied by. Hard to imagine maybe, but ask them and you’ll find it’s often true. Bullying is not just your problem, it’s everybody’s business.

Empowering Others


As an Employment Counsellor working with recipients on Social Assistance, quite often I deal with individuals who have lost their self-esteem and self-efficacy. With that drop in confidence, things which in the past they may have done with conviction and assurance, they now do with trepidation or not at all until giving permission to. Have you made similar observations?

One of the most rewarding aspects of my own position is reminding people of the power they have, pointing it out when it makes an appearance, and reinforcing the good that can come from seizing that power of thought manifested in actions.

You see when you apply for social assistance, you are required to produce information normally kept in private such as your identification, financial records, how much rent you pay, who resides with you, your accumulated debt and creditors. With every piece of paper you turn over, along with those documents goes some of your self-respect, your dignity, your privacy, and your self-perception. This is why many people say something to the effect of, “I never thought this would happen to me”.

Interestingly, another comment made in the early days of being on assistance is, “I don’t intend to be on this long”. What this really translates into of course is the assertion that the loss of autonomy and self-reliance is not comfortable or desired, and employment represents a recapturing of independence and a bolstered self-image.

So what about empowerment? Empowering others immediately at first meetings reduces the chances of slipping too far into financial dependence and discourages attitudes and behaviours that will be self-destructive. Someone who has been out of employment for an extended period will more often than not use language that betrays this loss of power, and their actions differ from when they had confidence.

So why is empowering others important, and why should we who work with the unemployed remind ourselves to try with every interaction to empower others? For starters, it’s significant to bear in mind that for a time, many unemployed form their opinions of themselves based on their interactions with others. If someone is told they are completely dependent on others to do things for them; such as making a resume or applying for a job, they may actually start to believe they lack this skill and will stop revising and targeting their resumes because they doubt their ability to do so unaided.

The irony of this for someone who is helping them construct a resume, is that the job seeker reverts to using a resume made for them for many jobs, including those the resume isn’t entirely relevant for. This can frustrate someone providing the help, and mistakenly have them thinking the person lacks the ability to do this for themselves; but in reality they have the ability, but it hasn’t been recognized and nurtured. What’s become reinforced is the dependency on some professional to do everything for them.

So empowering someone in the example of providing help with a resume, may be to sit down together for a longer initial meeting than one might expect otherwise, and not just making changes, but explaining the thought process behind the changes being made. When shown the process and the reasons behind it, and validating the good aspects of the resume first presented, the client is more apt to draw some confidence in their own ability and make concerted efforts to do for themselves what otherwise they would not.

Unemployment often means isolation from peers, but isolation from daily routine and isolation from the person they once perceived themselves to be is of even greater significance. One fellow I worked with recently over eight days in a computer class started off knowing absolutely nothing about computers except what he saw others doing. It was like learning an entirely new language. He had an extensive background however in the music industry, repairing amplifiers, mixing sounds etc. At sixty years old, here he was learning how to use a computer. Every time he remember to correctly name a computer part, clicked or double-clicked on the right icon, or remembered the first time how to get to his newly created email, I reinforced that learning by praising him in front of the class. His confidence grew, he sat up straighter, and at the end he thanked me extensively and said he had the confidence to do for himself what he was asking others before to do for him.

The steps to regaining employment and self-reliance may be many, but one of the smallest kindnesses that you can do for someone is to empower them to do for themselves. Initially, it’s faster and often easier for we the helpers to just do things for them. However, and I include myself in this as well, when doing something quickly for others, you and I might be doing this for our benefit not theirs. This could be because of tight scheduling, having to see multiple clients in short periods of time or other reasons.

When you can therefore, remind yourself about the immense impact of empowerment and as you are able, give this to those with whom you work with enthusiasm. The small sparks you may create then have the possibility of igniting something wonderful in others.