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Can you be neutral?

By September 11, 2019April 17th, 2023No Comments

A few weeks ago, I spoke about the power of silence and suggested that it’s important to remain neutral throughout the process.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve had many experiences in your life.

Some awesome, some not, and the rest….. somewhere in between.

ALL of your experiences have influenced you on some level and most likely, created patterns and belief systems that have shaped you for who you are today.

This is a beautiful thing…..

AND, these experiences can be a huge distraction when considering how to best support someone going through a challenging situation, or manage a team.

If you bring your own experiences to the table when assisting others through a challenging process, a number of things can happen…

You start to give advice

You take sides

You enter into the conversation with your own agenda.

You draw hard lines in the sand between right and wrong

If you believe in the premise that everyone has the answers inside of them, then none of these examples are supportive of that theory.

There are many times in the past when I’ve felt inclined to tell a client, “you should do this”, but when I remind myself that I have no idea what’s best for that person, or what they “should” do, it brings me back to the belief that the person on the other end is fully capable of coming up with their own answers and therefore, I MUST REMAIN NEUTRAL when speaking with them.

Being a neutral observer is one of the most powerful gifts that you can give someone in supporting them through their own process…In doing so…

You don’t give advice

You don’t take sides

You leave your agenda behind

You refrain from bringing in your own beliefs regarding “rights” and “wrongs”.

I understand that some of these can be difficult to comprehend, or fully embrace, especially the “giving advice” thing.

Many people tend to hang their hat on being good at giving advice to others. “I’m really good at giving advice” type of thing.

When you think about it, this is another way of saying, “I’m really good at telling people how to live their lives.”

Hmmmm. That doesn’t sound awesome, does it?


I’ve found that the most impactful managers, executives and business owners tend to be really good at staying neutral, especially in challenging situations.

Try it on. Let me know how it goes.

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