The Supportive And Sapping Approaches

Every person has strengths and aims to achieve their picture of success. It is their style of operating – the way they interact with others – that may have consequences.

The way they behave may come across to others as supportive or sapping. Some may be valued by organisations because they help others succeed. Some may be asked to leave because their style of operating creates collateral damage. 

Here are some of the most common styles that people demonstrate. Some people may also display elements of each style.

The Supportive Approach

Some people behave in a way that is caring, supportive and helpful. They help to create an environment in which people feel able to be their real selves. They also provide people with the help they need to succeed.

The Stimulating Approach

Some people may be energetic, positive or inspiring. They may behave in ways that other people find stimulating and helps to maintain a creative environment. This can help to create a positive workplace.

The Solutions-focused
or Sage-like Approach

Some people are good at reading reality and quickly move into solutions mode. They focus on clarity – the real results to achieve – and aim to find positive solutions to challenges.

Some people come across as sage-like and want to encourage others. They are humble, kind and see themselves as lifetime students. They aim to pass on knowledge and practical tools that help other people to succeed. 

The Sapping Approach

Some people’s styles are sapping. They complain or behave in other ways that sap people’s energy. They refuse to take responsibility, believe their feelings are the most important in the world and are not interested in finding solutions.

The Scapegoating Approach

Some people look for scapegoats. They spread negative energy and look for people to blame. They focus on spreading discord or hate – which can have painful consequences for many people.

The Superior or
Status-seeking Approach

Some people imply they are superior to others. They often want to be seen as important and successful. They may aim to do this is by seeking status, applause and admiration. They may even praise their own efforts in the expectation of getting adulation. 

Imagine that you want to behave in way that is supportive towards other people. When appropriate, you may also want to apply elements of the stimulating, solutions-focused or sage-like approach.

Looking ahead, can you think of a situation where you may want to help a person or a group of people? How can you follow elements of the supportive approaches in your own way? What may happen as a result of taking these steps?

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on these theme. This invites you to complete the following sentences.

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