Recently I asked my first year practicum students a question regarding how they saw their clients, themselves as therapists, and their relationship with their employer through the lens of givers and/or takers. After mulling it over out loud and explaining that they were taking their client's problems, giving them advice, as well as giving to their employer and taking a paycheck as well as wisdom, each offered their perspective and nearly all agreed that they saw their clients, themselves as therapists, and their employer as both giver and taker.
I then offered this concept:
1. Our Clients are givers. They give us their pain, their problems, and their anger. They give us their perspectives on their problems, and they ask and answer their own questions most of the time. They are seeking advise, wisdom, skills, hope, and encouragement. If they are takers they will choose to take what they will and reject the rest resulting in limited growth and limited change.
2. As a Therapist we are givers. We give our clients alternative paradigms, concepts, interventions, and skills that in turn gives them hope and encouragement. If we are takers we take their concerns to heart and often we will take their problems home with us and that is not what we should do. A therapist who is a taker will experience burnout which is detrimental to a therapist's mental health and self-care.
3. Encouragers leadership are givers as well. We give our time, our business, our energy, wisdom, and experience. In return, employees and employer give their time, energy, knowledge, skills, and tools to their clients as well as their coworkers. If employees see themselves as takers they will take advantage of their employer, take for granted what they are given, and will ultimately take a walk when they feel there is nothing left to take.
At Encouragers I believe we are all givers. In all situations there is no taking involved. After the arguments defending their perspective that we also take from each other I offered this paradigm:
We are not takers but rather we "receive" what is given to us.
We receive our clients pain, problems, and anger and in return we give them solutions.
We receive training and education as a student, associate, or peer working in a giving setting.
We receive each other as we are in a safe work environment where everyone is treated with consideration, concern, and respect.
To imply that we take anything means to me that we are taking advantage of a situation, we take power away from another, and we take for granted everything that is given to us. I don't like this perspective which is why changing the language changes the context for what we do.
This is why I can say unequivocally, Encouragers provides...
Excellence in Service
Excellence in Training
Excellence in Business Development
"In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" Acts 20:35