Thursday, 30 June 2016

Are you a diminisher or are you an amplifier?

First I want to begin by identifying what the difference is between a diminisher and an amplifier. I will include some exerts from experts. Then I want to give you a personal example, and lastly of course the take away.

So what am I referring to when I say someone is a diminisher or an amplifier? They sound pretty obvious so you should be able to follow along with me.

When you are around someone who is a diminisher you feel that they steal your energy, take the ownership for any accomplishment. They do not care about your ideas or input. Someone who is a diminisher will make decisions without consulting you. They become controlling, dismiss your natural ability and talent and worse of all they promote fear.

Sounds like a vampire sucking the life out of you.

So why put yourself around people like this?

Well sometime we feel that we do not have a choice. However, we do. We do have choices, we just tend to take the easy and comfortable route because this is what comes naturally to us.

Who are diminishers? They can be disguised as anyone; your teacher, doctor, boss, peers, husband or wife, girlfriend or boyfriend, parents, and even your siblings. Can people younger than you become diminishers? I would have to say yes.

You would think that someone who is a diminisher can only be a person who is older than you and who has authority over you, but this is not the case. Younger less mature people can be diminishers too. If you feel that you cannot preform in your best natural abilities and that you are sacrificing growth than you are with a diminisher.

To get a little of topic here, can babies be diminishers in our lives? Yes, they can, however, this leads us back on topic, diminishers don't have to always be this way. They can become amplifiers.

Now stop and think for a minute, "do you have a controlling personality? Do you give people a chance to be heard, I mean truly listen to them, empathize and apply their ideas? Do you think that you are always right? Do you tell people what to do, instead of brainstorming with them?"

So how did you do? Did you answer yes, no, yes, yes?

Are diminishers bad people, who cannot accomplish anything? No, they are better if they work alone, sounds similar to an introvert.

Diminishers can become amplifiers, can this also be true vise versa? Well let's have a look at what am amplifier looks like.

The easy way for me to describe an amplifier is by taking the meaning and applying it someone. So what I mean by that is amplifiers are people who bring out your best efforts. To preform at your best, amplifiers guide you through obstacles. They provide you with the tools needed to make decisions that will create opportunities.

"In every failure there is an opportunity."

Amplifiers give you the resources needed to recognize these opportunities that are embedded in failures.

I can just say that an amplifier is the complete opposite of a diminisher but that would not do it justice. Ask yourself;

"How is what I know, getting in the way of what I don't know?"

Amplifiers get out of your way, diminishers stop you in your tracks.

Okay so now that you have an understanding of what a diminisher and an amplifier looks like, let me give you a personal example.

I met with an acquaintance about one month ago, the reason for this meeting was my intrigue into the failed company of which she worked for. I want to give you a very brief background as to who she is, what she has been working on and of course her boss.

Let's call her Lisa. She is a well rounded individual. Formally educated and also looks for ways to grow in life. She has attended business and personal growth seminars. Lisa is well versed with entrepreneurial work. She is a couple of years younger than me.

Lisa and her boss have been building an organization in promoting Thought Leadership here in Vancouver. This is what sparked my attention and I wanted to know all about how, what and why she was doing it and to see if there is anyway I can help in their business.

To my dismay Lisa was telling me that the business did not work out. How can this be?

Thought Leadership is very popular because of the people that contribute to the growth of society. They evoke us to think, challenge assumptions, and they question the status quo.

So why did the business fail? The saddest part about why it failed was not the failure itself but actually how Lisa has been manipulated by her boss to think that Vancouver was not the right audience and that it wasn't the right timing for this business.

Aside from what she told me, getting thought leaders here requires a great deal of funding and bigger venues, which is true, she also explained to me how this can become a very successful business.

Implementing the right marketing strategy, starting early in promoting the events. Getting third party assistance in helping with venues, possibly finding cheaper venues and paying attention to the thought leaders that are going to be in the area at that same time when they are working on something else.

Incentivizing thought leaders, and also travelling abroad and conducting interviews, hosting webinars and online crash courses with thought leaders.

For those of you who do not understand who thought leaders are here are some examples; Authors, presidents, teachers to name a few.

Through this professional dialogue I realized that the business has so much potential. I couldn't help but notice that her boss was mentioned over and over again. This is when I thought about diminishers and amplifiers.

Unfortunately, amplifiers cannot break through to a diminisher. The diminisher will have to let go of their belief system to become an amplifier themselves.

The business didn't fail because of the market, time or audience, although these are crucial elements in a business. The business didn't fail because of the lack of ambition and talent from Lisa, whose role was administration and shortly after turned into marketing strategist, head of sales, organization and human resources.

The business failed because of a diminisher, because this business needs the support of more than one person to thrive. Lisa's boss did not listen, did not care, and was selfish and egotistic. Okay I may be harsh here. Sometime the truth hurts.

Lisa's boss discouraged the spread of ideas, she put down any insight Lisa had and instead of instilling ownership and accountability in Lisa, her boss took full control and did not understand how to react to the market when Lisa had most of the knowledge.

Yes Lisa's boss came up with the business idea, but she had the top down leadership approach, "the boss knows it all."

Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown explain it best in their thought provoking book Multipliers: How the best leaders make everyone smarter.

"Hold people accountable to execution not the outcome, this will encourage people to try and fail.....It isn't how intelligent your team members are, it's how much of that intelligence you can draw out and use."

So how can a diminisher become an amplifier. This is not an over night process, and it is harder to do without the help of others. Most times if you are a diminisher you will not recognize that you are and you will be in denial. Remember what you think is right, right?

First step is to acknowledge that you do not care for other people to grow around you. Second is to change your mindset and to become a facilitator instead of a dictator. You can simply begin by observing and recognizing the natural talent that other people have. Once you recognize this, facilitate and challenge them to get outside their comfort zone by asking them the hard questions.

"Ask more, tell less."

Amplifiers continue to be great leaders, and help other people become amplifiers as well.

Thank you for reading this longer than usual post, I feel we covered a great deal. Drop me a comment or an email if you have something more to add to this post. To be continued....

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