There are times when other's want us to make a difference in their lives. We receive questions, requests or proposals from them. We respond and our response is welcomed, valued and translated to fit their initial request. The responsiveness to the initial demand creates more demand. Together we've started in a good place and ended up in a better place that does not stop there.
There are other times when we want to make unsolicited differences in other's lives. We've set ourselves up to heroically deliver from our inventory, push our product and insist on what we have to offer. It's a hit or miss proposition whether our offering is welcomed and valued by the others. Without the others on board, we've started from a bad place and ended up in a worse place. This is the condition of most business models, competitive strategies and institutionalized enterprises.
There's much that goes on in the minds of the others as they cope with unsolicited attempts to make a difference in their lives:
- They get defensive about being made to look stupid, incompetent of lacking in ambition
- They become wary of getting framed as a real problem or blamed for needing this help
- They suspect they are getting into more trouble by getting entangled in a manipulative obligation
- They are anxious for this encounter to be over, dismissed or stopped in its tracks
- They find themselves getting bored, disenchanted and resentful in spite of trying to appear agreeable
- They experience their thought processes becoming more intolerant, judgmental or antagonistic
- They feel a sudden need to be right without question, in control and overpowering the attempt to make a difference
All this occurs because the attempts to make an unsolicited difference creates a dangerous situation. We were all born fully equipped with an automatic safety program that shuts down our higher order reasoning in favor of quick-minded survival tactics.
All this defensiveness can be alleviated with value propositions and business models that only deliver in response to solicited requests. This gets the others on board from the start. They know what to expect since they asked for it. Their minds open to add-ons and revisions that they perceive as better serving them than what they initially requested. They trust the process of learning as they go, collaborating on value creation and taking more responsibility for their own satisfaction. This inherent collaboration works for every participant on several levels.