Are you Pleasing yourself and others or are you Serving? To please or to serve, that is the question. I first read about this concept in Steve Chandler’s book “Crazy Good” where he talks about the difference between Pleasing and Serving. I find this a very powerful distinction.
You may think this only applies to that group who identify as People Pleasers however I do not believe this is the case. I think most of us use pleasing behaviour rather than serving a LOT of the time. This not only applies to pleasing other people, it applies to doing what pleases us – although it may not be enjoyable. Frequently this is about avoiding discomfort rather than doing something fun.
How Can We Tell?
Every time we don’t have that challenging conversation, are we pleasing ourselves or serving ourselves? What about that person who won’t succeed if they aren’t given some concise and possibly hurtful feedback? It seems like short term pleasing by avoiding discomfort and uncertainty while we deny ourselves and others a better outcome that will serve us both in the long run and probably even immediately!
Every time we don’t show up in a meeting because it is too much effort, we please, not serve.
Each time we accept poor service or sub-standard work we please, not serve.
By-passing opportunities to provide feedback is pleasing behaviour.
Avoiding doing necessary things that we don’t enjoy and working on something fun that doesn’t add to our lives????
Procrastinating picking up the phone and sending the “easier” email that then results in an avoidable flood of back and forth communication? Hmmmmm.
What Steve Chandler Says About This
“There is no substitute for true service. If I ask myself, “What would serve this person right now?” I always create a better communication than I would by simply trying to please.”
“Most of my time-management problems have come from saying yes to too many people. My feeling “swamped” never came from my having a poor time-management program, it always came from too much pleasing.”
Leaders and Pleasing
I’ve coached a lot of Leaders over the years who had more on their plate than they could handle. Yes, time-management comes up time after time after time and it is rarely about that. Most of the folks I coach are concerned with being a good leader to those that report to them and in most cases, one aspect of this is being available and approachable. I totally agree that these are valuable. Where this goes wrong is that it translates into an either/or policy. Either I am 100% available 100% of the time or I’m not there for my people. As with all either/or thinking, this is so not helpful. What about a both/and. A sometimes? How many conversations have I had about allowing yourself to close your office door for a short time?!
Let’s get back to some great self-reflection questions:
- Who am I serving with my behaviour? Who am I trying to please?
- If I chose to serve rather than please, how would I change what I’m doing?
- How can I serve both myself and those I lead?
- Is this serving me, my staff and the organization or is this pleasing one at the expense of another?
Would you rather be pleased or served? In the best case, being properly served will please people overall. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.
Rosalie Boulter, Paradigm Shifters Consulting Inc. – Sept. 2018
Rosalie Boulter is a Coach/Trainer/Mentor/Deep Thinker/Self-Awareness Proponent. She spends way too much time Pleasing so is here along with you in making this important shift. Check out her upcoming event taking place in October 2018 here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/conflict-transformation-tickets-47489029967?aff=ebapi