It’s Kindergarten again, and you are being told where to sit, when to go to the rest room, how to write and read, and when to eat lunch. You’re micromanaged, basically, because you’re inexperienced and may need assistance.
Now it’s college. You’ve done the public school routine, and have some life experience on the side. Still green, but ready to rise to new challenges, with maybe a little hand to steady you once in awhile.
Now you’re a parent. YOU are the one guiding the young, inexperienced. What kind of parent are you? One that micromanages and may not let a child spread it’s wings often to learn to fail and get back up? Are you a parent who has rules, but prefers to let young ones know about them, and then choose their own actions, knowing the consequences? Or are you a parent who trusts their children to know when to ask for help or wisdom, but not inject it until you feel they may hurt themselves?
Now, what type of ‘helper’ do you tend to choose when you are the one who needs assistance or wisdom?
- Do you choose one who is more like your Kindergarten teacher, guiding every step and maybe not giving enough personal leeway? Sometimes those personality types make one feel too ‘coddled’ or controlled, even. Maybe a bit condescending.
- Do you choose one who has guidelines that they’d like you to stay within, but not quite as confining as the teacher, but perhaps still expecting you’ll need them more than you think, without getting in your way until it’s needed?
- Or do you choose someone who lets you free-flow through the process, allowing all types of actions, assuming you know what you’re doing, waiting until the situation may be about to crumble?
Where am I going with this? Ok, I’ll play.
My personality type enjoys finding things out on my own, but through years of that experience, it has softened it’s stance on “don’t help me, I know what I’m doing”. It now knows that really meant “I know what I want, but you don’t yet, so your help may be unhelpful, and I don’t have time for that.” Of course, it’d help if I explained what I wanted better. I enjoy helpers that hold the horse while I get on, take a turn or two on the lead line until I feel ready to take control. They don’t feel a need to tell me where to put my hands, heels, or eyes, once they assess with an experienced eye that I am doing ok. They are hanging around the arena in case I have a question about this horse, or notice a difficulty. Then they step forward to assist, and know when to back off. Some helpers would want to make sure I was completely perfect before letting go, and then coaching constantly from the arena fence. (they don’t know that, with my concentration on the horse, I can’t hear them all that well). If I don’t do something particularly pleasing to them, they let me know, as if they were a teacher and I just a Kindergartener who didn’t want to nap. Another helper might make sure I got on the horse, and then turned to go muck out stalls while I did whatever I did. If the horse misbehaves, or there’s an issue, this helper might not know about it until it’s become unsafe. Whether this helper does not engage could be lack of confidence in helping, or lack of care in helping.
All of these personality types or valid.
It all depends on what YOUR personality type prefers. Like in your Realtor.
- Some treat you like their grandchildren and handhold you all the way.
- Some treat you like a Kindergartener, not trusting you will make a sound choice.
- Some walk away after you get on the horse, hoping you’ll call for help when the going gets rough.
- Some treat you like you have a clue, but know that you don’t know the industry as well, and will need guidance and authority along the way, but not every step.
Everybody has a different personality, and hopes for a certain type of helper.
Which one would you choose?
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© Hilary Meader, YourTexasDream.com