Thinking about how to help.

coffee cup“Who are you helping grow? How? Accidentally or on purpose?”

I talked with Tom yesterday. We talk once or twice a year. I listen to his heart. I offer counsel. I think it’s called mentoring.

After four years of these conversations, you would think we wouldn’t wait til the end of the conference we are attending to finally talk. But we do. And we are the last ones out of the building (or so it seems).

What I’m thinking today is that I could add a level of intention to those conversations that might be more helpful to Tom. I know that we will meet. I could leave myself a note on my calender for next April to start thinking about seeing Tom next May. I could anticipate the conversation, not to set an agenda, but to make myself aware. [NOTE: I just did it]

I understand that there are people that I help grow without knowing I am doing it. I know that I stumble into conversations, onto topics that help. I know that most of the people that will read this are people that I have never met. I also know, however,  that I do know about some people that I am responsible to help grow. And in those cases, I have the opportunity to be more intentional than accidental.

I’m teaching tonight. I decided that we need to talk about looking ahead, about building a plan. I want to help this group understand deeply what they understand broadly.

That is an important part of understanding growing. Growing needn’t be expanding in every way. Often, it is the opposite. At times we grow by developing the capacity to say no, by becoming more simple, more compact, lighter. At times growing is actually deepening.

“Who are you helping grow? How? Accidentally or on purpose?”

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