“Me do it” is what we shout when we are toddlers. Every toddler is working hard to convince their parents that they are now old enough to do it themselves. As toddlers, we discover our own power. That’s the germ from where we develop our strengths to live our lives independent and on our own.
Even when we encounter problems we’ll feel this same mechanism: me do it! I know I can do this myself! And we’ll first try to solve our own problems. We use the power that’s already there and available. Some people have more power, more strength than others but in the end, we’ll all feel this toddler again wanting to help ourselves.
Sometimes we succeed. Sometimes we don’t. That’s when we start looking for help. This might be the moment that you as a Social Worker will meet your new customer. Now it’s important to know that when you meet your customer at this point, he or she has already made huge efforts to solve this problem on their own.
Some customers have gone a long way. They pushed it to the limit. They forced themselves to the limit. And when they give up, when they realize that they cannot help themselves, they are exhausted and desperate. And that’s how they feel when they meet you.
This is exactly the insight I want to share with you regarding your customers. If your customer is exhausted and finally admits that he or she failed to solve this problem on their own, you must know how this feels for your customer. To connect and start a helping and warm relationship you have to show your compassion and respect.
And then it’s time to help. Really help. Sometimes you even have to take over because your customer is out of power. Give it to your customer to have time to recollect power. To rebuild his own capacity to solve problems. And step by step regain the trust that he or she can solve problems that will show up once they feel charged again.
Do you recognize this in the way you work with your customers? I would love to know! Please share your thoughts in the comment below ? ? ?